Kyle Brown: On the Sevens front, the best I played with were one of our playmakers. It would be a toss-up between Cecil Afrika and Justin Geduld. With the pair, you hardly had to say anything. You just had to be in the right position and then they would find you with the ball. That was always what made them so special. The best I played against was Jerry Tuwai. He was never my direct opponent but was always deadly. I wasn't a huge fan of playing against him because he always did something insane and generally pulled a cat of the bag in the last seconds and won the game for Fiji. He is a phenomenal rugby player and doesn't need to be big physically. He possesses all the different attributes.
Sport24 asked: Your take on the Blitzboks as runners-up?
Kyle Brown: With the pandemic cutting the Sevens series short, New Zealand were crowned champions by default. The Blitzboks may not have won the series but there are some huge goals to work towards over the next couple of years. The Olympics is in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup are set for 2022. There is plenty for the players to set their sights on and, if they can get it right in the short-term, they can come out of this period well-equipped. The players are returning to training but the question is what are they training for? Sevens isn't going to be played again until January 2021 so there is a good opportunity now to assess how they set goals and move them from the longer-term to short-term. There is plenty of personal development that can be done now as well as focusing on fitness goals. In terms of the makeup of the Blitzbok side, seeing senior players depart from the system is a natural process. There is currently a really vibrant group of players within the Sevens set-up. They are quality players on the field and a classy bunch of individuals off the field. It's great to see the different leadership characters coming through. I've been impressed with current Blitzbok captain Shakes Soyizwapi. He is incredibly humble and is probably one of the most professional players you will see within that Sevens set-up if not the on the whole series. He is a good person to have in that position because he sets an example for those around him and on the whole he makes the correct choices. He is a role model who places Springbok Sevens ahead of any personal desires.
Sport24 asked: What is your outlook on the BLM movement?
Kyle Brown: The other day someone captured it neatly when they said, "No Lives Matter until Black Lives Matter." It was in rebuttal to someone else who said, "All Lives Matter". That summed it up and spoke volumes for me because you want to talk about equality and levelling the playing field. Diversity can be wonderfully powerful within a team, business or country. For me, the major qualities of diversity are the different perspectives you gain. Ultimately, in life we are approaching problems with a different solution. However, within a Springbok Sevens context we were able to approach the problem of the opposition with the multitude of perspectives we got from the incredibly diverse team that we had. It allowed us to be so innovative as well as unconventional. Our strength in diversity made us a very dangerous team to play against. If we can link that to everyday life and see how effective the use of diversity can be, we can become capable of solving some serious problems.
Sport24 asked: Do you see yourself transitioning into coaching?
Kyle Brown: I did some consultancy work for the Irish Rugby Sevens men's side in December, January and March. Most recently I worked with the Irish Women's Sevens team. It was a very interesting experience and I really enjoyed it. I went over with the women's team to France and we spent a training week there. However, since Covid-19 everything has come to a standstill. I will see how that progresses but at the moment I am focused on what's happening at home. It would be nice to work in South Africa within the rugby coaching space but opportunities are limited. Not every former player can become a coach and I fully understand that. In South Africa, there are very few spots available and many wanting to coach. In terms of coaching, I enjoy the contact element, the breakdown and I specialised a fair bit in terms of the kick-offs during my playing career. When it comes to coaching, I would probably lean quite heavily on what I focused on as a player. Off field, it would be about creating, developing and nurturing a team environment and culture. It would also be about ensuring the player leadership structure is set up and then about guiding that aspect and helping it to grow in a sustainable manner.
Sport24 asked: Three dream dinner guests? Who would they be?
Kyle Brown: I listen to plenty of podcasts and I really enjoy Joe Rogan's one. He seems like an interesting character and would create a good conversation over dinner. He is polarising figure and some people really like him and others don't. Robin Sharma would also crack an invite. His book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari got me into his writing. I enjoy Sharma because he always makes the topic so approachable. My third guest would be actor Will Smith. For me, 90% of his movies have been amazing and he has immersed himself in every role he has taken on. He has played some phenomenal characters and the Bad Boys series is some of my favourite movies. Smith seems funny and interesting.
DTH van der Merwe
Joe van Niekerk
Neil de Kock
Os du Randt