Hougaard rejoins Blitzboks

2016-05-03 21:28
Sport24 columnist Francois Hougaard (File)

Cape Town - Springbok Sevens player Francois Hougaard on Tuesday re-joined the Blitzbok squad at their training base in Stellenbosch and will be considered for the forthcoming Paris and London legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Hougaard played in the first four tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town, Wellington and Sydney and just returned from a stint with English Premiership club Worcester.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was pleased to see Hougaard back and in contention for selection for the last two tournaments of the 2015/16 series.

“It is nice to see Francois back,” said Powell.

“He did well for us in the first four tournaments and I am sure he will fit in nicely this week. He remains committed to try and make the squad that will travel to the Olympic Games in Rio later this year and I will keenly follow his progress in this regard.”

Powell confirmed that only Carel du Preez and Werner Kok from the contracted group of players will not be considered for the last two legs of the series. Both are recovering from injuries and doing very well in their rehabilitation programmes.

“Frankie Horne is coming back from injury and if he makes it through this week, will be considered for selection,” Powell said.

Horne, who played in 68 consecutive tournaments for South Africa, injured his ankle early in the year and has yet to appear in the 2015/16 series.

South Africa is currently second on the overall log and determined to give it all to try and win the series.

“The squad all are working nicely together and we are keen to give it our best shot. We have some good depth and will work hard this week to be in the best shape come Paris,” said Powell.

The Blitzboks are grouped in Pool B with Australia, England and Brazil for the HSBC Paris Sevens, to be played at the Stade Jean Bouin in French capital from 13 to 15 May. The squad for the final two tournaments will be named on Friday and the team departs for Paris on Sunday. 


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