Blitzboks coach Neil Powell says they are facing the unknown when the Sevens Series kicks off in Dubai on Friday.
Back-to-back World Series champions, South Africa also won the Dubai tournament in their last two visits to the UAE.
Powell, though, knows his team will be marked men heading into the new season and says they will have to enter it cautiously.
The 40-year-old explains: “This first tournament is always a tough one.
“You don’t know what other teams have done with regards to preparation or what their level of readiness is.
“Therefore, the best idea is to just focus on your own effort and how to best implement what you prepared for.”
Powell, though, says they will focus on themselves.
He adds: “We have a good record here indeed and that has helped us to a strong start to the series in recent years.
“We will hoping for more of the same, but it will not come to us, we will have to go out and do the work if we want to be successful.”
He adds: “We have been very consistent in the last two seasons and that has contributed to our successes.”