Powell encouraged Senatla to switch codes

South Africa Sevens flyer Seabelo Senatla has revealed that Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell encouraged him to make the switch to the 15-man game.

The current World Rugby Sevens player of the year will play two more tournaments on the Word Sevens Series – in Wellington (January 28-29) and Sydney (February 4-5)  – before he joins the Stormers for their 2017 Super Rugby campaign. 

Although Powell is pushing Senatla to have a crack in the 15-a-side code – so that he can realise his dream of playing for the Springboks at Test level – the player admitted that it was not an easy decision to leave the shorter version of the game.

"This is my heart, this is my home. I am where I am today because of them," Senatla said of the South African Sevens team.

"It wasn't an easy decision to go and play 15s but when you have the backing of the coach and him saying: 'My boy, go and give it a try. We need people like you in the 15s jersey' … then why not? He (Powell) is a father figure to us and he's always looking for our best interests. He's always trying to push us from behind to do a little bit better.

"Taking that, you don't leave with a heavy heart. You leave with a peaceful mind knowing that you have the coach's blessing and that he is pushing for you to be there more than you are pushing for yourself. We've formed such and awesome brotherhood and we all enjoy being in each other's company. We laugh together, we hurt together and we're a family."