The South African national rugby sevens team – the Springbok Sevens will be getting their Olympics under way with two easy-looking matches against Spain today in pool B of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The much-anticipated game between the Springbok Sevens, second favourites for the tournament behind Fiji, holds at the Deordora Stadium in Rio at 4:30 SA time.
The players will also team up against France later today by 9:30pm SA time. The final Group B clash is against Australia on Wednesday at 4.30pm SA time, with the quarter-finals later the same day and the medal deciders on Thursday.
Springbok Sevens forms part of Team South Africa at the ongoing 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell said the squad is looking forward to put up an impressive game in their first match today against their counterparts from southwestern Europe.
He said the players are expected to make the country proud provided they play according to ‘structures’ and ‘processes’.
“It is an exciting time for the Rugby Sevens team here in Rio. We have been here for a week or so and are ready and keen to get underway. As expected, there were some upsets in the women’s event, and we have no doubt that it will be the same in the men’s tournament.
We have only one focus at this stage and that is our opening match. We are not looking at anything else outside of those 14 minutes. Once that match is done, we will focus on France and our match later in the evening,” Powell said.
Springbok Sevens are advised not to take France or Spain for granted despite the fact that Spain stunned Samoa to seal final Olympic berth.
The Rugby Sevens Squad include: Kyle Brown (captain); Tim Agaba; Philip Snyman; Werner Kok; Dylan Sage; Kwagga Smith; Rosko Specman; Cheslin Kolbe; Cecil Afrika; Justin Geduld; Juan de Jongh and Seabelo Senatla.
Springbok Sevens’ first sevens series was at the 1993 Hong Kong Sevens after they were re-admitted to international sports. The squad also took part in the 1993 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Besides the Sevens Series, they have also featured in the Commonwealth Games, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Games, and from 2016 onwards, the Olympic Games.