Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell has backed his desert champs by naming an unchanged squad for this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens tournament, the second stop on the 2017/18 World Rugby Sevens Series circuit.
The Blitzboks, arrived home after clinching last week’s Dubai tournament and are preparing for the two-day tournament that kicks off at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
“Everyone returned fit from (the Dubai) tournament and will have the added motivation of playing in front of a very supportive home crowd,” coach Neil Powell said on Wednesday.
“The only change to our squad is the official reserve. We have included Siviwe Soyizwapi in the place of Marco Labuschagne which was part of our planning all along.
“Siviwe travelled to Dubai as captain of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad, which gave him the opportunity to get some playing time. He performed very well there and he will slot in easily, should one of our players pick up an injury that rules him out of the tournament.”
While South Africa made a winning start to their title defence, Powell admitted that he wasn’t altogether satisfied with the performance in Dubai.
“We needed to fine-tune a couple of things that we did not execute well. This week we did that and still have two training sessions left… to ensure the players are mentally ready for the big event.”
South Africa will on Saturday face Pool A rivals Russia, France and Kenya with the winner advancing to the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
SA’s kick-off times, Saturday, December 9:
BLITZBOKS: 1 Chris Dry, 2 Philip Snyman (c), 3 Tim Agaba, 4 Kwagga Smith, 5 Werner Kok, 6 Kyle Brown, 7 Branco du Preez, 8 Rosko Specman, 9 Justin Geduld, 10 Cecil Afrika, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 12 Ruhan Nel, 13 Siviwe Soyizwapi*