Cape Town - Springbok Sevens playmaker Cecil Afrika is on his way to Japan for this weekend HSBC Sevens World Series tournament in Tokyo.
The former IRB Sevens Player of the Year will replace Paul
Delport, who suffered a knee injury at the recent HSBC Sevens World Series
tournament in Hong Kong.
Afrika has not been in action since December 2012, when he
aggravated a knee injury at the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens in Port
Elizabeth. His availability is good news for South Africa, who suffered a
disappointing Bowl semi-final exit in Hong Kong.
Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, said the addition of
Afrika is a welcome boost for the team.
“We obviously gutted to lose another player because of
injury, but that is part of the game,” said Treu.
“Cecil will bring a lot of
confidence with him to the team. He is confident and looking forward to playing
again, but we want to phase him with a view to have him fully ready for the
Sevens Rugby World.”
Afrika is prolific points scorer and a playmaker, one of the
real star figures of the World Series and a player who can change the course of
a match in his team’s favour with a flash of individual brilliance.
“Cecil’s alertness and attacking style create a lot of
uncertainty for defenders and hopefully that will create some extra
opportunities for us,” added Treu.
For Tokyo, South Africa have been drawn alongside Hong Kong champions, Fiji, Portugal and fast-improving Spain in Pool A.
The Tokyo leg is the seventh in the nine-leg series and will be played from March 30-31.
The Blitzbokke currently occupy fourth position in the standings, some 35 points adrift of log-leaders New Zealand.