Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens team contesting the Paris Sevens
tournament this weekend, is determined to keep their hopes alive to win the
overall HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
The South Africans are currently second on the overall log
and eight points behind Fiji in first place. A title win in Paris for the
Springbok Sevens team, and an early Cup exit for Fiji, could put the Blitzboks
right back in contention with only London, the last tournament of the series,
That will mean a very strong showing in the Stade Jean Bouin
though, but according to Springbok Sevens captain, Philip Snyman, it is exactly
what they are aiming towards.
"It is a massive honour to lead this team and we are keen to
make the nation proud with our performances. We know we will have to be at our
best," said Snyman, who will be playing in his 36th tournament for
"At this stage of the season teams know each other
quite well and everybody knows it is going to be us who will have to beat Fiji
for the overall title. We certainly believe that, if we stick to our principles
and processes, we can still catch them and win the series."
Coach Neil Powell believes there are more than just titles
to be won from his team’s performances this weekend.
"It will give the players the opportunity to put up their
hands for the final Olympic Games squad no doubt," said Powell.
"But it also gives us an opportunity to improve on what we
have done over the last couple of tournaments. Hopefully we can keep our
momentum and confidence going into the Olympics."
A good finish is Paris is very important, not only to keep
their series hopes alive, but also to secure a good ranking for the Olympic
"Paris is important with regards to the seeding for Rio and
we are aiming to finish in the top two on the overall standings. There will
only be three pools in Rio and pool three could become very congested with top
teams," explained Powell.
He warns about looking too far ahead.
"We have Rio to consider, but we need to do well in Paris
first and that starts with the match against England on Friday evening," said
"England and Australia have beaten us this year and
with the event stretched over three days, it will be a good prep for the
Olympic Games, as that schedule are also over a three day period.
"We were caught cold in Hong Kong recently in similar
circumstances, when England outplayed us on the first day. We recovered well
over the next two days, but certainly don't want to fall in the same trap
again, so our focus remains on England and the opening day."
Kick-off against England tomorrow evening (Friday) is at
21:12 (SA time). The matches on Saturday against Brazil and Australia kick off
at 12:45 and 16:15 respectively.
The Top Five teams in the Series are:
1. Fiji 147
2. South Africa 139
3. New Zealand 135
4. Australia 115
5. USA 95