Springbok Sevens is set for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and is looking towards a solid start when the first tournament of the 2016/17 season kicks off tomorrow at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.
It’s fair to say the Blitzboks are the best team in their Pool B group made up of Uganda, Scotland and the USA.
The Springbok Sevens Pool B fixtures (all SA time) are as highlighted below:
- South Africa v Uganda (08h06)
- South Africa v Scotland (11h06)
- South Africa v USA (15h06)
Also, below is a list of the Springbok Sevens squad for the Emirates Dubai Sevens tournament:
- Chris Dry (52 tournaments, 360 points)
- Philip Snyman (captain, 37, 211)
- Dylan Sage (7, 40)
- Kwagga Smith (24, 250)
- Werner Kok (19, 210)
- Kyle Brown (56, 385)
- Branco du Preez (45, 874)
- Rosko Specman (13, 169)
- Justin Geduld (25, 558)
- Cecil Afrika (45, 1123)
- Ruhan Nel (11, 110)
- Seabelo Senatla (29, 785)
- Siviwe Soyizwapi (3, 30)
Speaking, the Blitzboks coach, Neil Powell, remarked that the team is keen to get going. He said:
“Last year we started introducing some established fifteens guys into our structure as we looked at finding the right combinations for the Olympic Games.
This time around, we arrived with a squad full of sevens regulars. In fact, four of the five most experienced players ever in the Blitzbok shirt are here in Dubai, so a lack of experience will definitely not be an issue
We have some solid performers that have done well at this level. Cecil Afrika (2011), Werner Kok (2015) and Seabelo Senatla (2016) were named World Sevens Players of the Year in the past and all three are looking very sharp in training.
Kyle Brown and Chris Dry have played for us more than 50 times and our new captain, Philip Snyman, is getting close to the 40 tournament mark already.”
However, Coach Powell admitted that all the experience and talent will count for nothing if the team fails to bring its best effort to the field.
“We are facing Uganda, Scotland and the USA in what will be a very tough pool. I don’t have to point to the Scotland match at all, we all know what happened in our previous clash and us losing the London Sevens after the final buzzer.
“We will be up for this one. The USA remains one of the most dangerous teams on the circuit. They can really hurt you with their pace and counter-attack, so we need to be clinical and have no tolerance for mistakes, either in attack or defence,” said Powell.
Thereafter, he reiterated that everyone in the squad is looking forward to getting the season started.
“We worked hard in pre-season and the squad made me proud with their willingness to dig deep and work hard.
This tournament has been good to South Africa in the past and we have won here before. The support we normally get from the huge group of South African fans is no doubt worth an extra player,” added the Blitzboks coach.