San Diego Legion added South Africa’s most decorated Sevens All-time player, Cecil Afrika for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 32-year-old fullback/flyhalf (33 in March) is 5’10” and 154 lbs.
Cecil was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and attended Hentie Cilliers High School, which is located in Virginia, Free State, South Africa. He played youth rugby with the Griffons from 2004-2007.
He played his senior XVs rugby with the Griffons from 2006-2009, making 48 appearances and scoring 187 points. In 2017 he returned to rugby XVs playing one match with Free State XV, 4 times with the Free State Cheetahs, and scoring 2 tries, and 2 matches with the Cheetahs, and also scoring 2 tries.
In 2006 Cecil played for the South Africa Schools’ team, and in 2008 helped the South Africa U20s earn a thrid place finish at the IRB Junior World Championship, scoring a try in the process.
Cecil is synonymous with the Blitzbok Sevens, and made his debut at Dubai in 2009 at the IRB World Sevens Series. By the time he retired in 2020 from international sevens competition in June, he appeared in 345 World Sevens Series matches and scored 1462 points.
In 2011, Cecil was the top try and point scorer, which led to him winning the IRB International Sevens Player of the Year award. He was a member of the South African Sevens team that won a bronze medal at the 2010 at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, and a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2016, with the return of rugby to the Olympics as rugby sevens, the he helped South Africa gain the bronze medal at the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cecil was on track to contend for a position on Team South Africa for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, however with COVID-19 postponing the Olympics a year, his contractual status caused him to look to return to the rugby XVs game.
San Diego Legion co-head coach Zack Test is very familiar with Cecil as an opponent and they will team up with the Legion in 2021 to attempt to gain the MLR Shield.