Powell unveils De Allende plans

2015-11-04 19:32
Damian de Allende

Cape Town - The prospect of having Damian de Allende representing the Blitzboks at the 2016 Rio Olympics is not without obstacles, but it does excite coach Neil Powell. 

The Springbok centre's stint with Japanese outfit Kintetsu Liners means that he is set to miss the first four rounds of the Sevens World Series, and that combined with his recent workload and the upcoming 2016 Super Rugby season suggest that De Allende will have a lot on his plate if he is to make the trip to Rio.

Powell, speaking at his training squad announcement in Cape Town on Wednesday, highlighted the importance of managing De Allende's work load.

"Obviously he’s going to Japan first so he won’t be in our squad until only in March. That’s something we will put with the union and discuss the management plan for him," said Powell.

"It’s important for us to get the guys to rest out before we use them again because if they’re not mentally and physically fresh then they don’t play well for you at the tournament."

Powell also offered some insight as to how he sees De Allende fitting into the Sevens setup. 

"He could be a very good loosehead for us or even a tighthead … just to bring that little bit of extra evasive skills in the forwards," said Powell.

"When you take the ball wide and then bring it back to the forwards, to have a guy like that with good feet, good distribution skills and a powerful runner … I’m very excited.

"But they still need to prove themselves because there are guys in the team who are already there, currently contracted Sevens players, they won’t want to give their jerseys up."

The first leg of the 2015/16 Sevens World Series takes place in Dubai on December 4 and 5, while the Cape Town Sevens will be staged on December 12 and 13. 


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