Cape Town - Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell is excited about the start of the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series as the Blitzboks start their quest for of targets they are hoping to reach this season.
The Springbok Sevens team arrived in Dubai earlier on Monday and Powell is looking forward to a strong start to the season, but said they have some long term goals set as well during the series.
“It will be important for us to start strong again,” said Powell.
“We ended the previous season well with the Olympic Games and all that came with that, but this is a new season and a new start for us again. We need out of the block really well by performing in Dubai and then in Cape Town a week later.”
Powell is also keen to get the season underway as part of a four-year cycle that will culminate in Tokyo in 2020, when the next Olympic Games will take place.
“We will be bringing in a number of new faces during the season as we have to increase our depth. Some of the current players will not make it through to the next Olympics, so it will be important to identify and develop the right players with an eye to the future," Powell said.
"We must not lose sight of the fact that we still need to be in a position to win tournaments and the overall series, but the additional goal of finding the next generation of players adds to what promises to be an exciting series for all of us."
The team will have a flush out session on Monday before fine-tuning their preparations in the days leading up to the tournament kick-off on Friday.
The Blitzboks face Uganda, Scotland and the USA in pool play.
The Springbok Sevens squad for Dubai:
1. Chris Dry (52 tournaments, 360 points)
2. Philip Snyman (captain, 37, 211)
3. Dylan Sage (7, 40)
4. Kwagga Smith (24, 250)
5. Werner Kok (19, 210)
6. Kyle Brown (56, 385)
7. Branco du Preez (45, 874)
8. Rosko Specman (13, 169)
9. Justin Geduld (25, 558)
10. Cecil Afrika (45, 1123)
11. Ruhan Nel (11, 110)
12. Seabelo Senatla (29, 785)
13. Siviwe Soyizwapi (3, 30)