We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if, 10 years later, the best player in the world will be the best player in the finals of the In Extenso Supersevens. Facing Teddy Thomas, Antoine Hastoy or Jean-Pascal Barraque, the South African Cecil Afrika will try to lead the Monaco Rugby Sevens to victory, tomorrow at the Paris Défense Arena. At 33 years old, the player evokes, in English, his freelance for the principality’s club, such as the level of French 7-a-side rugby.
Cecil, is Monaco, with its army of stars (the Englishman Dan Norton, best of the world circuit, is also part of the team) the main favorite before tomorrow?
I think we just need to focus on ourselves. Monaco have a great team, but tomorrow is a new day, a new tournament, new opportunities. We need to replicate everything we’ve done here.
Is there pressure on Monaco?
There is a lot of waiting around Monaco. We must make the principality proud. We won the last two stages, but from the last tournament until now, it’s a new team, it’s not the same players anymore. We have to realize ourselves as a team, compared to what has been done previously. It’s a new competition.
You have walked the world circuit for a long time, what do you think of the scenery for tomorrow, this Arena with its closed roof, the lights, the more than 20,000 spectators expected?
This step is not like the previous steps, yes it looks really different. There will be supporters who come looking for an atmosphere. I hope that we can offer them some great rugby and that these people will enjoy rugby sevens.
How do you see rugby sevens in France?
Rugby sevens in France is developing. The tournament should allow the French team to find good potential for the future, to identify the capabilities of the player who will hatch. In South Africa, we don’t have that kind of tournament. It’s a phenomenal concept.