AFRIKA Cecil < Back  
Sport Rugby Sevens
CGA South Africa   
Gender Men
Born 03 Mar 1988 in Port Elizabeth, SAF
Height1.75 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Cape Town, RSA
Occupation Athlete, Business Owner
Languages English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began playing rugby at age seven.
Why this sport? His father played rugby.
Name of coach Neil Powell [national], RSA
Preferred position / style / stance / technique Back
International Debut
Year 2009
Competing for South Africa
Location Dubai, UAE
General Interest
Hero / Idol South African rugby player Bryan Habana. (you.co.za, 03 Jun 2011)
Injuries In June 2019 he underwent surgery on a torn bicep muscle. He returned to action four months later. (sarugbymag.co.za, 14 Oct 2019)

He suffered a torn hamstring at the 2018 London Sevens tournament. He was sidelined for about a year. (biznews.com, 29 May 2019; iol.co.za, 28 May 2019)

A knee injury suffered in training in early 2017 ruled him out of that year's World Series tournaments in Wellington, New Zealand, and Sydney, NSW, Australia. (timeslive.co.za, 22 Feb 2017)

He injured his hamstring at the 2015 Dubai Sevens tournament and was out of action until February 2016. (iol.co.za, 09 Dec 2015; sport24.co.za, 10 Dec 2015, 15 Feb 2016)

In October 2012 he had surgery on a left knee injury and was out for three weeks. He aggravated the problem in December that year and did not return to action until March 2013. (iol.co.za, 26 Mar 2013; irbsevens.com, 22 Oct 2012)

In 2010 he was out for three months following surgery on a broken jaw. (springboksupporter.co.za, 14 Dec 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Never give up on your dreams. In the end it's what you make of the things you have in life that matters." (rugby15.co.za, 05 Jul 2011)
Awards and honours He was the South African flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (sport24.co.za, 16 Jul 2014)

In 2011 he was named World Sevens Player of the Year by the International Rugby Board [IRB]. (en.espn.co.uk, 24 Oct 2011; southafrica.info, 26 Oct 2011)

He was named 2011 South African Rugby Union [SARU] Springbok Sevens Player of the Year. (sanews.gov.za, 04 Nov 2011)

He was named Player of the Tournament at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens tournament. (boxscoresnews.com, 23 Nov 2011)
Other sports He has also played rugby union [15-a-side] at club level for South African team the Free State Cheetahs. (sport24.co.za, 27 Jun 2017)
Milestones He became the first South African player to score 1000 points in the World Series when he surpassed the mark at the 2015 Tokyo Sevens tournament. (world.rugby, 30 Sep 2018; Springboks Facebook page, 23 Feb 2017)
Other information INJURIES
He has suffered several serious injuries during his career, including a recurring knee issue and a torn hamstring sustained in 2018 that kept him out for a year. He says at times he has feared that injury would force him into early retirement. "Our medical staff did wonders [with the hamstring injury]. There were dark times, to be honest, but thanks to their encouragement and the positive words of loved ones and friends, I kept going. There have been a lot of injuries and setbacks so I never thought I would be here. I am just so grateful to have the opportunity to get out there and enjoy doing what I love to do." (scmp.com, 04 Apr 2017; iol.co.za, 02 Apr 2017; biznews.com, 29 May 2019)

SEVENS OLYMPIC BOOST
He says he believes the popularity of rugby sevens has increased in South Africa since it was added to the Olympic programme at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. "Sevens in South Africa has really grown. Because rugby is such a well-supported game here, people follow both 15-a-side [rugby union] and sevens. Now the sevens players are regularly recognised on the street, and that is a fairly new development. The public tell us that we make them proud, and comments like that spur us on to want to achieve more success for them on the field." (thesouthafrican.com, 06 Dec 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
He and former South African national teammates Kyle Brown and Philip Snyman own a cafe in Stellenbosch, South Africa, called Eighteen Coffee. 18 was the sum of the trio's jersey numbers of two, six and 10. He has also served as an ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a British charity that uses sport to advocate against violence and discrimination, and he has worked as a youth coach at rugby events in Cape Town, South Africa. (coffeemagazine.co.za, 30 Oct 2019; sport24.co.za, 15 Aug 2019; laureus.com, 30 Jan 2013; thesouthafrican.com, 12 Jun 2018)