Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - The Springbok Sevens team received a setback on Wednesday as they learnt they will be without playmaker Cecil Afrika for this weekend’s Emirates Airlines Dubai Sevens tournament.
Afrika, the IRB Sevens Player of the year and widely regarded as one of the best players the shortened game has ever produced, is not likely to be risked by coach Paul Treu when he names his team later on Wednesday.
The Sevens whizz injured ribs on day one of the Gold Coast Sevens, and never took part in the playoff rounds on day two. While the news wasn’t as bad as initially feared, the Blitzbokke hoped he would be ready by Dubai to continue his talismanic role for the team.
But while things got heated in Wednesday’s training session in the Emirate, with players getting a bit hot under the collar in a very physical clash, Afrika is unlikely to play any part in the Dubai Sevens this year.
The same is likely to happen to Branco du Preez, who also has recovered from his injury, but may not be 100% ready just yet to take the field alongside his teammates. There is a chance Du Preez could be included as one of the squad of 12 though.
The final change to be made from the Gold Coast is a decision whether to play Western Province winger Stephen Hunt or rather go with former SA Schools captain and talented youngster William Small-Smith.