The Blitzboks captain won back-to-back Sevens Series early in his international career

Who is Siviwe Soyizwapi: Ten things you should know about the South Africa back

Siviwe Soyizwapi is captain of South Africa’s successful sevens team.

A quick, intelligent winger, his tries have propelled the Blitzboks to multiple World Sevens Series titles.

Ten things you should know about Siviwe Soyizwapi

1. Siviwe Sonwabile ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi was born on 7 December 1992 in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. He started playing rugby at U9 level, even playing at lock in his early days.

2. He attended Dale College Boys’ High School, which has also educated Springboks Keegan Daniel and Aphiwe Dyantyi, as well as cricketer Makhaya Ntini. His nickname ‘Shakes’ comes from a soccer-playing character from a comic in a newspaper that he liked. 

3. Impressive showings at U18 level for Border Bulldogs (where he was a late injury-replacement) and South Africa earned him a place at the Eastern Province Kings Academy. With the Kings, he won the U21 Provincial Championship in 2012 and 2013.

Siviwe Soyizwapi playing for Eastern Province Kings

Soyizwapi in action for the Eastern Province Kings during the 2013 Currie Cup (Getty Images)

4. He made his senior debut for the Kings against the Free State Cheetahs in the 2012 Currie Cup and played in Super Rugby for the Southern Kings the following year.

5. A constant threat in open space, Soyizwapi was first called up to the South Africa sevens side in 2013 and made his World Sevens Series debut during the 2015-16 campaign.

6. His arrival as a Blitzboks regular coincided with South Africa winning consecutive Sevens Series titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Soyizwapi scored 50 tries over the two campaigns.

7. Soyizwapi was the joint-top try-scorer at the 2018 Sevens World Cup, touching down six times to help South Africa secure a bronze medal.

8. He was appointed South Africa sevens captain for the 2019-20 Sevens Series and led his country to a runners-up finish.

9. He scored two tries at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the Rainbow Nation finished fifth.

10. Soyizwapi won a third Sevens Series in 2021 after the pandemic shortened the season to just two tournaments.

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