Afrika boost for South Africa Sevens
Cecil Afrika has returned to the Springbok Sevens squad for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament after missing round two of the HSBC Sevens World Series last weekend in Dubai.
Afrika, the former IRB Sevens Player of the year, is one of three changes to the squad that will play in South Africa’s home tournament in Port Elizabeth. Cheslin Kolbe replaces Kevin Luiters while Bernado Botha will start in place of Steven Hunt, who was ruled out because of an ankle injury.
The Blitzbokke will be captained by Frankie Horne in place of Kyle Brown, who was also injured in Dubai last week. Horne will play in his 44th consecutive World Series tournament, equaling South Africa's leading Sevens tournament appearance mark of Fabian Juries.
Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, said at the team announcement that his team was well aware of the home fans’ expectations for them to perform well.
“We know the fans expect us to do well and we will do our best not to disappoint them. It’s nice to have Cecil back because he is such an important player for us," he said.
“We took Steven for scans this morning and the results on the ankle were not good, so we decided not to risk him and rather play Bernado instead."
Following a disappointing campaign in Dubai, which saw South Africa enter the Bowl competition, the Springbok Sevens have been handed a tough pool, facing day one matches with France, Dubai champions Samoa, and Australia.
SA Sevens squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Frankie Horne, Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks, Cheslin Kolbe, Ruwellyn Isbell, Stephan Dippenaar, Paul Delport, Cecil Afrika, Tshotsho Mbovane, Bernado Botha
13-14 December 2014
Venue: Port Elizabeth Bay Stadium
City: Port Elizabeth