Injured Blitzbokke stars aim for Dubai
South Africa Sevens coach Paul Treu is sweating on the availablity of two key players for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on 30 November - 1 December, round two of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Springbok Sevens playmaker Cecil Afrika underwent minor surgery on Thursday to repair damage to his knee after he sustained an injury at the Gold Coast Sevens, round one of the Series, while Tshotsho Mbovane is also on the mend.
Former IRB Sevens Player of the Year Afrika has been ruled out of action for up to four weeks but team management are hopeful he will recover in time to be considered for Dubai and, following that, the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens in Port Elizabeth.
Mbovane was a member of South Africa's Junior World Championship-winning side who made a good impression at the Gold Coast after his long-awaited return to Sevens following a knee injury. He is also ruled out for a month after fracturing a finger on his right hand in Australia.
The Springbok Sevens team last won in both Dubai and South Africa in 2008, when their victories kick-started a golden march towards the 2008/09 World Series title.
They finished third behind Fiji and New Zealand at the season-opener in Australia and coach Paul Treu is hopeful that the star duo can recover in time to chase Cup titles at rounds two and three this season.
“Fortunately for us it seems they will possibly have just enough time to complete their rehabilitation for Dubai and Port Elizabeth. A few other guys picked up some bumps and bruises but that’s to be expected when you are required to play in six matches over two days,” said Treu.
The full Blitzbokke training squad will assemble again on Monday 29 October in Stellenbosch.
Video: Watch Gold Coast highlights