Teen set for Bok 7s debut
Cape Town - Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu on Tuesday included another uncapped player in his squad for the next two HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in Hong Kong and Adelaide.
Tshotsho Mbovane, who last year played for the SA U18 High Performance Squad and represented Western Province at the Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week, replaces Pieter Engelbrecht who is struggling to overcome an ankle injury.
Mbovane is set to become the fifth contracted youngster to make his full debut in the World Series this season after Mark Richards, Lubabalo Mtembu, Paul Jordaan and Sibusiso Sithole.
Treu made four changes overall for the demanding Hong Kong Sevens on 25 – 27 March and the Adelaide event on 2 – 3 April.
Sithole, Boom Prinsloo and Paul Delport all return to the squad in place of Mtembu, Steven Hunt and Renfred Dazel respectively. Prinsloo and Delport missed the Las Vegas outing because of injury but they have both been given a clean bill of health.
The 12-man squad will assemble in Potchefstroom on Tuesday afternoon where they will complete their final preparations before flying out to the Far East on Sunday, 20 March 2011.
Treu said the inclusion of Mbovane was in line with the team’s strategic vision to give youngsters playing opportunities in the tough World Series.
“For any debutant, it certainly doesn’t come bigger and tougher than Hong Kong, where you have to play over three days in front of 120 000 spectators. I have faith in Tshotsho and the other young players and a good showing in Hong Kong and Adelaide will benefit them tremendously,” explained Treu.
In Hong Kong, the Springbok Sevens will compete in Pool E against Wales, hosts Hong Kong and Spain. Having won the Cup in Las Vegas, South Africa heads Pool D in Adelaide where they will face defending tournament and World Series champions, Samoa, France and Japan.
The Springbok Sevens squad for Hong Kong and Adelaide is:
Chris Dry, Boom Prinsloo, Frankie Horne, Sibusiso Sithole, Neil Powell, Kyle Brown (captain), Branco du Preez, Bernado Botha, Paul Delport, Cecil Afrika, Tshotsho Mbovane, Paul Jordaan.