Injury forces decorated Blitzbok star into retirement

08 October 2019 - 18:07 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Philip Snyman (Captain) of the South Africa scores a try during day 1 of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens Pool A, match 7 between South Africa vs Samoa at Cape Town Stadium on December 08, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Philip Snyman (Captain) of the South Africa scores a try during day 1 of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens Pool A, match 7 between South Africa vs Samoa at Cape Town Stadium on December 08, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

A back injury has forced South African Sevens rugby star Philip Snyman to call time on his illustrious career.

The 32-year-old is a three-time Sevens World Series winner and was part of the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medal-winning team.

Snyman’s longevity in the abbreviated game is as such that he was part of the South African team who won their first World Series back in 2008. He featured in 62 tournaments‚ 28 of which he was captain and played in 276 matches.

While the South African Sevens team have always had a good turnover of players to replace those who have moved on‚ Snyman’s experience will be difficult to replace overnight.


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It’s also going to be a critical year for the Blitzbokke as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics loom large on the Sevens calendar. Teams will have to pace themselves well through the Sevens World Series to keep themselves fresh and ready for the Olympics.

Snyman also represented the Blitzbokke at three Sevens Rugby World Cups.

Snyman‚ who is from Bloemfontein‚ came to terms with the abrupt end of what has been a sterling career.

“It is a reality for any rugby player that his career may be cut short by injury at any given time‚ and I was blessed in many ways to have played for more than a decade‚” Snyman said.

“In a perfect world‚ one would prefer to end your career on your own terms‚ but I am not complaining.

“Rugby brought me so many brilliant memories and afforded me so many opportunities‚ and my path crossed with such a diverse and wonderful group of people. I will be forever grateful for that.”

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