For one of the leading and most experienced Springbok Sevens players, Justin Geduld, this has indeed been very demanding over the years. And to add insult to injury, he also had to cope with a broken jaw, injured knee ligaments and ankle repairs as part of the deal.
The fact that Geduld, as play-maker with the softest of touches and so elusive, does not shy away from contact did not help the slender-built flyhalf at all and more times than most, contributed to the damage.
The last couple of weeks, since the squad returned home victorious from Singapore in mid-April, Geduld has gone 'soft', enjoying a longer than usual break before the Blitzboks re-assembled in Stellenbosch to prepare for the HSBC London Sevens, which starts at Twickenham on Saturday.
Geduld used the free time to go “baby shopping” with his partner, Mymoema Isaacs, who is expecting the couple's first child next month, and the soon-to-be-father was a willing participant in the exercise to find some pink stuff. Yes, it is a girl!
Look at that belly 😍— Justin Geduld (@JustinGeduld) May 19, 2019
Going to miss my girls but dad’s gotta go to work! ✈️ #HuggiesBaby pic.twitter.com/jEcH3M4hfP
Back on the training pitch in London though, the only soft left in the Geduld armoury will be the deft foot passes or hands through the gap he plans to execute when the Blitzboks take on Japan, Canada and Argentina in Pool A at Twickenham.
“It is good to be back on tour – we had a long break, longer than usual,” said Geduld.
“Normally, it was three weeks away, a week off and two weeks before we departed again. This time around, we had a bit more time and in my case, it was spent wisely.
“We are a happy group right now and pleased to be back together. We want to try and finish the season strong. We had a good tournament in Singapore, but also learned our lessons from the tournament win in Vancouver, which we followed up with a poor performance in Hong Kong.
“We don't want to make the same mistakes again and all of us are very aware of the roles and responsibilities they have in the team,” Geduld explained.
The 25-year-old had a productive year on the field and played in all eight tournaments so far, something he is grateful for: “Yes, I was lucky this time around with injuries, comparing to previous seasons, and I am grateful for that. We are well-looked after and I am hoping to finish the season strong."
Should Geduld cross the whitewash at Twickenham, it will be his 100th try in the Springbok Sevens jersey. He has also scored 214 conversions and a penalty goal for 926 points for the Blitzboks in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which places him fourth on the all-time list.
“Having a solid run this season has obviously helped with the confidence and the momentum, and we want to finish strong as a group. We want to go out there and enjoy ourselves,” he said.