Afrika 'will boost Blitzbokke'
Cape Town - Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu says star playmaker Cecil Afrika's return will be a major boost at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens.
The South Africans were without Afrika in this past weekend's Dubai leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series after he injured his ribs at the Gold Coast tournament in Australia the previous week.
But Afrika is expected to be back this week when the Sevens World Series heads to South Africa, with Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium playing host to the event.
The Blitzbokke will be under pressure to perform after they were disappointingly knocked out in the quarter-finals by France and then also lost to Australia in the Plate final in Dubai.
And coach Treu admits Afrika will provide a much needed spark that was lacking in Dubai. "Cecil's return will make a difference. We are a better team than what the results have shown thus far and it is disappointing that the hard work we are putting in doesn't get justified on the pitch," Treu told the Beeld newspaper.
Treu also indicated he could pick speedsters MJ Mentz and Cornal Hendricks for this week's event. Both helped the Dubai Samurai team win in the semi-professional event in Dubai over the weekend.
The Blitzbokke will also get an early chance to make amends for their loss to Australia when the two Southern Hemisphere rivals clash again on Friday in the pool stage. The South Africans were drawn in Pool C with Australia, Canada and Kenya.
The World Series Standings after Round 2:
1. Fiji 39 points
2. England 32
3. South Africa, New Zealand, France 29
6. Australia 28
7. Argentina, Wales 23.
The pool draw for the Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens is:
England, Argentina, USA, Samoa
France, New Zealand, Scotland, Morocco
South Africa, Australia, Canada, Kenya
Fiji, Wales, Portugal, Zimbabwe