CAPE TOWN – Is there one “goosebumps” moment you can recall?
For Kurt-Lee Arendse, it’s the call he got from SA Rugby Sevens Academy manager, Marius Schoeman.
Yep, it was that call that would change his life.
Arendse was called up on Monday as injury replacement along with Zain Davids for Mfundo Ndhlovu and Ryan Oosthuizen ahead of the Canada leg of the World Sevens Series.
And while Arendse described the emotions of the goosebump moment he experienced when he got that call at 6.30 on Monday morning, it’s an opportunity he’s been dreaming of.
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“It was still early in the morning, I was still in my room at SAS (Stellenbosch Academy of Sport) and I saw Coach Marius calling,” Arendse recalled. “When I answered, he told me to start packing my bags, as I am going to join the Blitzboks in Canada.
“I could not believe it – it’s the call you were training for since you were little. I got goosebumps all over my body,” Arendse added with a huge smile.
The Paarl-raised Arendse only joined the SA Rugby Sevens Academy in December last year.
He played in tournaments in Dubai and South America (in January) and still played in the opening round of the Varsity Cup last month, scoring the University of the Western Cape’s first-ever Varsity Cup try against Ikeys.
“I think the trips to Dubai and South America did wonders for me, as I gained valuable experience playing sevens,” said Arendse.
“It was always a dream of mine to play for the Blitzboks, so Sevens was part of what I wanted to do. When the call came, I was so happy and relieved, it was what I worked towards for a while now.”
Schoeman is another rugby figure who believes Arendse thoroughly deserves the opportunity.
“He has so much talent and will be better for the experience and if he gets the opportunity in Vancouver, he will step up,” Schoeman predicted.
“When I called him, he was a bit overwhelmed and I could hear how excited he was. And nervous, as Zain had to come and help him pack his bag.”
The Springbok Sevens team face Chile, Wales and USA in Pool A of the Canada Sevens on Saturday.