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In a previous sporting life, Marlize de Bruin was known for dominating the centre of the netball court to help her teammates get into the best position to score goals. Fast forward to her current role, on the wing for the Springbok Women’s Sevens team, and her life has not changed much, with the 29-year-old still crucial in the attacking and defensive responsibilities of her side.

Despite her short and steep learning curve in sevens rugby, De Bruin kept the same approach as the time she was winning national titles with the Gauteng Jaguars and was called into the Spar Proteas training squad.

“I did not change my mindset when I changed codes a couple of years ago,” she said.

“I had a wonderful run in netball and will always cherish that, but the decision to move to rugby was a good one for me and I don’t regret that for one second.

“I gave 110% then and I am giving 110% now, so the output remained the same. I live my rugby journey and being in Vancouver, playing for my country in the world series was worth every stride on the route so far.

“I think I am lucky in that both systems are professional, which makes it much easier to play and perform. With regards to performance, we are keen to keep winning matches and improve on the tally of wins every tournament.”

South Africa, now one of the core teams in HSBC SVNS, won once in Dubai in the opening leg of the 2024 series but found no luck in Cape Town a week later. Two consecutive wins in Perth last month perked up the mood and De Bruin is adamant that more is coming their way when they face Ireland, New Zealand and Brazil in pool play this weekend.

“We lost 7-0 to the Brazil in Perth and having reviewed the match, we really missed a golden opportunity to claim another win in the series,” she said.

“We will not make the same mistakes again, that is for sure. We have clear goals on this trip and that includes a number of wins on the field.”

The South Africans have their eyes set on a top eight finish at the end of the series, something that will confirm their core status for next season.

A bonus for De Bruin this weekend will be family support at BC Place: “Yes, I have family who live on this side of the world, and they are coming to watch and support us, which is a great feeling. Hopefully we can deliver performances that will not only make them, but everyone back home in South Africa proud.”

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