Three changes for USA champions South Africa
The Springbok Sevens squad for the Hong Kong and Tokyo rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series has been named by coach Paul Treu, with three changes from the side that won the USA title last month in Las Vegas.
The 12-man squad was announced with Steven Hunt and Justin Geduld returning from injury and Jamba Ulengo also in the team in place of Warren Whiteley, Pieter Engelbrecht and Cheslin Kolbe.
Whiteley and Kolbe returned to their provinces while Engelbrecht was not considered for selection because of the concussion he suffered at in the Sevens tournament in Harare at the weekend.
Other players not considered because of injury are Kyle Brown (ankle), Cecil Afrika (knee) and Mark Richards (achilles).
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“The World Series is very competitive at the moment and it is very difficult to predict a winner for Hong Kong,” said head coach Treu.
“So far this season there have been five different winners for the five rounds of the World Series, which just illustrates the point that Hong Kong will be an extremely difficult challenge.”
South Africa, who are currently second in the overall Series standings behind leaders New Zealand, face Pool A matches with Argentina, Wales and Australia.
The Hong Kong Sevens takes place on 22-24 March and will be followed by the Tokyo Sevens a week later on 30-31 March.
South Africa Sevens squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Frankie Horne (captain), Jamba Ulengo, Cornal Hendricks, Tshotsho Mbovane, Brance du Preez, Stephan Dippenaar, Paul Delport, Justin Geduld, Seabelo Senatla, Steven Hunt
Series qualifying explained: Hong Kong & London
From the end of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series, promotion and relegation from core team status comes into effect, with a pre-qualifying competition in Hong Kong (round 6) and a final core team qualifier in London (round 9).
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will feature 28 teams and two competitions: In the first, the 15 current core teams and the winner of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, Hong Kong, will compete for the famous Hong Kong title and World Series points. In the second, 12 regional teams - two from each of the six IRB regions - will compete for four places at the core team qualifying final in London.
The Marriott London Sevens will feature 20 teams and two competitions: In the first, the top 12-ranked sides in the HSBC Sevens World Series after round 8, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, will compete for the London title and final World Series points. In the second, the 13th-, 14th- and 15th-ranked core teams after the Glasgow event will compete against the four qualifiers from Hong Kong and Asian champions Hong Kong for the three available core team places on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.