Blitzbokke still missing big guns

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 23 January 2013
 
 Blitzbokke still missing big guns
With Cecil Afrika, Kyle Brown and Branco du Preez missing, Cornal Hendricks is a key man for South Africa

Injuries to several key players have forced Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu to make three changes to his squad for the forthcoming HSBC Sevens World Series rounds in New Zealand and the USA.

Regular captain, Kyle Brown (ankle), playmaker Cecil Afrika (knee), Branco du Preez (hamstring), Steven Hunt (ankle) and Ruwellyn Isbell (soft tissue neck injury) are all unavailable because of injury.

Those vacancies have now opened the door to two 19-year-old debutants in Justin Geduld and Seabelo Senatla. The promising pair, also currently part of the SA Under 20 training squad, recently signed two-year contracts with SARU to play for the Springbok Sevens.
 
Pieter Engelbrecht was preferred over Bernado Botha, who was part of the squad in Port Elizabeth at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens.

The Blitzbokke are the top seeds in Pool C and will compete against Wales, Samoa and Canada for one of two qualifying spots on offer for the Cup quarter-finals.

“The New Zealand tournament is most probably the toughest test of the entire World Series,” explained Treu. “The host country, along with Fiji and Samoa, always get massive support from the crowd, which makes it extremely difficult for the other teams.

“We will have three 19-year-olds, Geduld, Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe, in our travelling squad, so from that perspective it is very exciting and I am delighted for the youngsters. However, they could not have asked for a more daunting challenge, and it will be up to them to prove themselves against strong opposition.”

Springbok Sevens squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Frankie Horne (captain), Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks, Pieter Engelbrecht, Justin Geduld, Stephan Dippenaar, Paul Delport, Cheslin Kolbe, Tshotsho Mbovane, Seabelo Senatla

HSBC Sevens World Series - The Story so far

Wellington, New Zealand

Round 5
7-8 February 2014

Venue: Westpac Stadium
City: Wellington
Capacity: 36,000 

 
Pools
Pool A
TeamPlayedPts
ENG39
RSA37
WAL35
POR33
Pool B
TeamPlayedPts
FIJ39
NZL37
FRA35
ESP33
Pool C
TeamPlayedPts
CAN39
ARG37
SCO34
USA34
Pool D
TeamPlayedPts
AUS39
SAM37
KEN35
TON33
more
Photos
  • South Africa's Philip Snyman is tackled by NZ
  • Sherwin Stowers
  • NZ Sevens - Gillies Kaka