Sevens

Powell excited by Agaba debut

2016-02-04 13:07
Tim Agaba (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Seven of the 12 in the Blitzboks squad for this weekend's Sydney Sevens have played in less than 10 World Series tournaments. 

It is a largely inexperienced side, and that was compounded when playmaker Justin Geduld was ruled out of this weekend's tournament with a shoulder injury. 

The Blitzboks are also without Sevens World Player of the Year Werner Kok as well as Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez and Ryno Benjamin.

Agaba, uncapped by the Blitzboks, now has a full national Sevens contract and is highly rated by coach Neil Powell. 

"It’s important to build depth. Maybe it was a bit forced to get Timmy in, but it’s also an opportunity for him," said Powell.

"I’m sure Timmy is going to be ready to take that opportunity. He’s shown in the 15s that he’s a good, physical rugby player and he understands the game.

"He showed enough in the three tournaments that he played for the academy that he has what it takes to play at this level. I’m really excited to see what he brings when he is given his opportunity."

The Blitzboks will take on Scotland, Kenya and Russia in Pool B. 

On the surface it looks to be an easy group for Powell's men, but the memory of losing to Kenya in the Cape Town tournament in December will still be fresh while Powell also views Scotland as a major threat.

"All our focus is now on that first game against Scotland and it’s not going to be an easy one," he said.

"It’s a team that, if you allow them to play, they can punish you and they’re good with ball in hand. If you’re not in their faces on defence they will create opportunities.

"We’re going to have to fight for every single try out there. We can’t just pitch up there and expect things to happen for us. Nobody will just give us success."

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