Sevens

Branco shines for Blitzbokke

2011-11-10 09:19
Branco du Preez (File)
Cape Town - South African Sevens speedster Branco du Preez impressed for the Blitzbokke in their practice match against the University of Cape Town's Ikeys on Wednesday.

There was concern over Du Preez's ankle, which he hurt badly in Scotland in May, but he came through Wednesday's run against the Varsity Cup champions without any discomfort.

Die Burger newspaper reports that Du Preez was able to comfortably step off both feet as he proved a handful for the UCT defence.

"He's just in a different class," said SA Sevens coach Paul Treu.

Du Preez wasn't the only player which caught the eye in this "trial match". Sevens veteran Chase Minnaar - who missed last season's Series after a motorcycle accident - also had a field day.

The forward's form will be pleasing for coach Paul Treu as the Blitzbokke are somewhat thin in the forward department, with specialist Sevens forwards like Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown and Boom Prinsloo not easy to find.

The Blitzbokke's captain, Kyle Brown, also played for the first time in a while after recovering from a knee injury.

The Sevens World Series starts on November 25 on the Australian Gold Coast. Unlike previous seasons, the Series starts with three consecutive rounds. After the Australian event, there's the annual tournament in Dubai on December 2, followed by an event in Port Elizabeth on December 9.

The South Africans will name their 14-man squad on Friday.

They take on the Maties in their final "trial game" in Stellenbosch on Thursday.

Treu will pick his squad out of this group of 23 players:

Forwards: Chase Minnaar, Kyle Brown, Frankie Horne, Chris Dry, Neil Powell, Boom Prinsloo, Reuben Johannes (DHL Western Province), Cornal Hendricks, Dirk Dippenaar, Pieter Engelbrecht.

Backs:
Paul Delport, Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, Steven Hunt, Renfred Dazel, Bernado Botha, Mark Richards, Craig Barry, Tshotsho Mbovane, William Small-Smith, Stephan Dippenaar, MJ Mentz, Robert Ebersohn.

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