Best of all, the Vredenburg-born player was thrown the mantle of senior statesman in the 2018 Blitzbok squad that comprised of mainly SA Rugby Sevens Academy players – something he took in his stride.
That jacket fitted nicely and his status in the team has changed from one “asking the questions” to a player “providing the answers”.
"Yes, it has changed a bit, the younger guys are now where I was a year or so ago, asking a lot of advice and looking for ways to improve. Now I find them coming to me for answers,” Gans chuckled.
Time on the field has been the key to unlocking his bigger impact in the squad, so much so that Gans is in the starting line-up every time they take to the field.
“Time on the field gives you confidence and your time on the ball gets better. The more you play the more you can anticipate and that gives you more time on the ball,” said Gans, who hopes to be a guiding light again this weekend, albeit in different circumstances.
“Last year we were complete underdogs, this time we arrived here as the team who won the previous tournament (in Canada), and so the expectations will be different.
“For us though, it is all about starting from zero again and making sure we implement our processes.”Gans can’t wait to run out in Hong Kong again.
“I love this place and I love playing here,” he said.
“This is my third time and I cannot wait to go out there and play with the boys. The facilities, the crowd and the field, all are great. The fact that I have played on this field before helps me to focus as well. I play situations in my head and visualise it and having been here before helps with that.”