Having last tasted success at the Wellington event back in 2002, coach Neil Powell’s men lost in the tournament decider to hosts New Zealand last year.
Rosko Specman and his teammates, though, will look to go one better this year and shine by winning the gold that has eluded them for 15 years.
And after travelling for more than 11 000km, Specman says the trip didn’t feel that long because of the lekker vibe in the squad.
Specman explains: “The guys like each other’s company and don’t mind spending time together. That makes the trip much shorter.”
It’s the unity within the group that will give them the edge over their opponents, according to Specman, who adds: “We all believe if the team plays well, the individual will also shine, so it has to be a team effort first.
“We had a short, but relaxing break, but we are keen to get going again.
“We prepared well for this and the guys are getting sharper and sharper as the tournament approaches.”
Rookie Siviwe Soyizwapi, who was the reserve player in the first two legs in Dubai and Cape Town respectively, is now a full member of the team and can’t wait to run out in Wellington.
Shakes says: “I am very excited as it is my first time at the tournament and I am keen for it to start.
“I have learned a lot travelling with the guys, but ultimately, you need to play to put that in practice.
“So this time I am looking forward to doing my part on the field and contribute there.”
South Africa will kick off their tournament at Westpac Stadium against Japan on Saturday (1.09am), before facing Australia at 4.33am and then playing their final Pool B match against Fiji at 8.18am.