When the Springbok Women's Sevens qualified as a core team for 2024, the opportunity to mingle was enhanced, but again, different flights, hotels and training schedules resulted in only occasional chats.

Finally, after four tournaments of the 2024 HSBC SVNS season, experienced Blitzbok forward Impi Visser and Bianca Augustyn had a minute to sit down at their team hotel in Los Angeles, where they spoke to springboks.rugby about their shared passion – engineering.

Visser graduated as a mechanical engineer two years ago, while Augustyn is completing her masters degree in civil engineering this year.

Both agreed on two principals, having an alternative when their rugby careers are over, and time management when studying as a professional player.

“It is important to have something to fall back on if your rugby career is over or injuries strike,” Visser said.

“I always encourage my fellow players to find something to study, there are quite a number of online options available nowadays.”

Augustyn, who made her Springbok Women's Sevens debut in Vancouver last weekend, said both studies and rugby are important to her.

“I really wanted to play for my country and on the world series, so it was huge and a very proud moment for me achieving that goal last weekend,” said Augustyn.

“Luckily, doing my masters degree this year, allowed me some time for this. It is not easy and time management is critical if you want to succeed in both.”

Visser agrees: "I transferred from the University of Pretoria to Stellenbosch University for my final year and as luck would have it, I picked up an injury that kept me out for four months. So, I could actually attend classes and meet fellow students in that time.”

Both are adamant, if they had to do it all over again, they would: “It is the best of two worlds and two passions,” Augustyn summarised.