Dubai Pool C profile (RSA, SAM, ENG, POR)

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 27 November 2012
 Dubai Pool C profile (RSA, SAM, ENG, POR)
Branco du Preez has become an outstanding member of Paul Treu's full-time Springbok Sevens team

We profile the four teams making up Pool C at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, round 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, with key stats on the team's World Series record and a lowdown on their x-factor in Dubai.



Played: 614
Won: 445 (72.5%)
Tournaments : 110
Debut : Series 1 - Dubai
Highest Score: 84 - 0 v MALAYSIA, Tokyo 2000
Ranking last season: 5th
Coach: Paul Treu

X-Factor: A year ago there would be no question as to who you would pick out with Cecil Afrika undeniably the finest in the world, but Afrika is currently out injured and now the Blitzbokkes' strength lies in the squad that Paul Treu has carefully built over the past few seasons. Up front Frankie Horne is the outstanding ball-winner, Chris Dry is athletic and captain Kyle Brown almost peerless in the aerial battle. At half back Branco du Preez and Paul Delport can dovetail beautifully and outside them the likes of Tshotsho Mbovane, Cornal Hendricks and Stephan Dippenaar provide pace.

Played: 601
Won: 396 (69.94%)
Tournaments : 110
Debut : Series 1 - Dubai
Highest Score: 85 - 0 v TRINIDAD TOBAGO, Commonwealth Games 1998
Final ranking last season: 4th
Coach: Faamoni Lalomilo

X-Factor: Gone are Uale Mai and Lolo Lui, gone too World Series-winning coach Stephen Betham and his twin pillars up front Ofisa Treviranus and Alafoti Fa'osiliva, both now rampant in the England and French league respectively. And yet still the new coach Fa'amoni Lalomilo has been able to put out a consistently strong side, which is also getting better all the time. Captain Afa Aiono and Alatasi Tupou now provide the continuity from those heady days, while Levi Asifa'amatala, Paul Perez and Robert Lilomaiava are all brilliant Sevens exponents, the latter two transferring that form to the test arena most recently in Europe for Betham, now the Manu Samoa head coach. Lio Lolo also made a convincing debut in Australia. Speedy Tom Iosefo is a loss, out injured.

Played: 563
Won: 375 (67%)
Tournaments : 102
Debut : Series 1 - Hong Kong
Highest Score: 75 - 0 v SRI LANKA, Dubai 2003
Final ranking last season: 3rd
Coach: Ben Ryan

X-Factor: A really tough draw for the defending champions after their poor start in Australia. Plus, of all the players coach Ben Ryan would not have wanted to lose from his squad, it would probably have been his forward brute Chris Cracknell and playmaking spark Mat Turner. Both are irreplaceable and both suffered injuries in the Gold Coast that keeps them out, Cracknell for up to six months and Turner certainly well into the new year. James Rodwell will step up to the mark in the forwards alongside Tom Powell and the captain Rob Vickerman, while Dan Norton will sparkle out wide and Tom Mitchell's intelligent midfield play will cause teams problems. Former IRB Player of the Year Ollie Phillips also returns to the fray alongside a couple of exciting debutants, but will it be enough to plug two gaping holes and give them a chance of retaining their title?


Played: 297
Won: 106 (35.60%)
Tournaments : 56
Debut : Series 2 - Dubai
Highest Score: 50 - 0 v THAILAND, Hong Kong 2010
Final ranking last season: 15th
Coach: Frederico Sousa
X-Factor: Making their re-entry as a core team in Australia, Portugal struggled with the pace of life at the top but they will hit back. Brilliant last year in Dubai, they beat eventual champions England in pool play and in Pedro Leal, Federico Oliveira and Aderito Esteves still have players to trouble any side. Tigerish in defence and organised, they will be no push-over.



Dubai Sevens

Round 2
5-6 December 2014
Venue: 7he Sevens
City: Dubai
Capacity: 50,000

  • Axel Muller
  • Dubai Dream Team
  • Emosi Mulevoro of Fiji celebrates