Blitzbokke keen to hit back
Cape Town - South Africa will be determined to bounce back at Twickenham this coming weekend when they compete at the Marriott London Sevens, the last tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The Blitzbokke will be hoping to shrug off a disappointing showing in Glasgow, where they lost the Cup quarter-final clash against hosts, England, and the subsequent Plate semi-final against Samoa.
In naming his 12-man squad for the ninth and final tournament of the season, coach Paul Treu recalled veteran Neil Powell while handing a debut to Cheslin Kolbe, who is a member of the SA Sevens Academy in Stellenbosch.
Powell, set to play in his 33rd World Series tournament, replaces the injured Stephan Dippenaar while Kolbe was preferred over Ryan Nell, the Matie wing who made his SA Sevens debut last week in Scotland.
“Cheslin has done well at the Academy and I believe this is the right time to give him an opportunity,” commented Treu on the inclusion of the young wing.
Blitzbokke captain, Kyle Brown, said they are determined to bounce back after a disappointing time in Glasgow. “We have a culture of hard work, dedication and believing in ourselves and we will definitely back ourselves to bounce back.
“Every squad member is bitterly disappointed with the performances in Scotland, but we have a final chance to play much better and to end the season on a more positive note. We don’t want to make any excuses for ourselves,” said Brown in reference to the numerous injury setbacks the team have suffered during the past few months.
“Those things are part and parcel of the game and the time has come for the senior players to lead the way and show why they are currently in those roles. It will start with me first, as I will be going all out to lead from the front and play to the best of my ability. I will demand nothing but the best effort from every player over the weekend,” added Brown.
The skipper was cleared to play after an ankle injury prevented him from taking the field on Sunday in Glasgow.
Their pool matches on Saturday are against Portugal (12:36), Scotland (15:42) and Australia (19:44). The Springbok Sevens squad for the London Sevens:
Chris Dry, Neil Powell, Frankie Horne, Pieter Engelbrecht, Cornal Hendricks, Kyle Brown (captain), Branco du Preez, Jamba Ulengo, Clayton Blommetjies, Philip Burger, Steven Hunt, Cheslin Kolbe.
Meanwhile, the SA Sevens women
are also in action in London. They will play in their second IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup tournament this weekend and are also in action next weekend in Amsterdam.
The third IRB-sanctioned tournament of 2011/12, which runs alongside the London Sevens, the final round of the Sevens World Series, will see 12 invited teams from six continents compete for the prized Cup.
Joining England in Pool A are South Africa, Kazakhstan and Olympic Games 2016 hosts Brazil. Canada top Pool B and will face Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 hosts Russia, the Netherlands and Portugal.
Pool C is headed by current Rugby World Cup Sevens champions Australia, who are joined by USA, China and France. The Plate final, playoff for third place and Cup final matches will be staged at Twickenham while the rest of the matches will be played at nearby Cardinal Vaughn.The SA Women Sevens squad:
Mandisa Williams, Ziyanda Tywaleni, Nwabisa Ngxatu, Nolusindiso Booi, Sinazo Nobele, Lamla Momoti (all Border), Zandile Nojoko, Phumeza Gadu, Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province), Aimee Barrett, Janine Felix, Cherne Roberts (Western Province). Reserves for Amsterdam: Zimkitha Tsilana, Zaandre Theron.