Bok Sevens need to fire

2011-01-27 19:27

Johannesburg - The Springbok Sevens squad departs for Wellington tomorrow, with the knowledge that a strong showing is needed in New Zealand and the USA if they want to catch the front runners in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The South Africans, champions two season ago, are currently in fifth place after winning the Plate final in Dubai and George in December last year. The next World Series tournament is on 4-5 February in Wellington, and this is followed by the Las Vegas event a week later.

Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, described Wellington as the toughest assignment on the World Series calendar, and said while he is happy with the progress of his young team, they will have to play much better than they did in Dubai and George.

“We have worked extremely hard on certain areas of our game plan since we got together after the festive break. The young players are improving all the time, and I am also pleased that Renfred Dazel is now fully fit and in the mix again.

“Wellington will be a huge experience for the young players. It’s the toughest assignment of the World Series, because of the fantastic New Zealand home support and the encouragement the fans give to the likes of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga,” said Treu.

Earlier this week, the SA Sevens coach made four changes to his squad who played in opening two tournaments last December. Former SA Schools star Paul Jordaan replaces Mark Richards, while playmaker Renfred Dazel steps in for the injured Cecil Afrika.

The two other changes see Chris Dry and Lubabalo Mtembu coming into the squad in place of Jacques Engelbrecht and Sibusiso Sithole (knee injury).

South Africa’s Pool D opponents in Wellington next Friday are the formidable Fiji, France and Canada, while they will be up against USA, Japan and Samoa on the first day of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas a week later.

The team leaves tomorrow at 12h55 from Cape Town International Airport.

The Springbok Sevens squad to Wellington and Las Vegas: Boom Prinsloo, Kyle Brown (captain), Frankie Horne, Chris Dry, Lubabalo Mtembu, Paul Delport, Branco du Preez, Renfred Dazel, Pieter Engelbrecht, Bernado Botha, Steven Hunt, Paul Jordaan.