Cape Town - Neil Powell has named a strong SARU Sevens Academy side to participate in the SAFLAND Windhoek Sevens tournament which takes place on 25 and 26 September in the Namibia capital.
According the SARU website, the 12-man squad is a combination of established Springbok Sevens players and promising members of the successful Academy programme, based in Stellenbosch.
There are five Springbok Sevens international players in the 12-man squad, providing a lot of experience while the rest of the squad are all very promising players.
Ruhan Nel, Philip Snyman, Werner Kok, Stephan Dippenaar and Justin Geduld are all HSBC Sevens World Series and the group provide the backbone for an exciting selection which should give good account of themselves in neighbouring Namibia.
Powell drafted Nel and ORC Griquas team mate Sandile Ngcobo straight into the touring squad after they duo returned recently from their Absa Currie Cup stint with the Kimberley side.
Other noticeable inclusions are new Sevens recruit Dylan Sage, the big University of Cape Town wing and Eastern Province Kings fullback Siviwe Soyizwapi.
Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, said the tournament is the ideal opportunity to ease the players into action after a long layoff.
“Although the guys have been training for a while now since returning from off-season, there is nothing better than getting game time in real match conditions. We have to prepare carefully and thoroughly for the upcoming season and the SAFLAND Windhoek Sevens tournament is a platform to start.
“We are delighted for the opportunity to go and play in Windhoek, it is a fantastic opportunity for our players to showcase South African rugby in our neighbouring country and we hope that people will come and enjoy the exciting action,” said Powell.
The Academy side will play against Botswana, Naka Bulle and Namibia in their three pool matches on Friday. The squad fly out to Windhoek on Thursday and will attend a signing session at the Grove Mall from 13h30 to 14h30. They return home on Sunday.
Some of the other participating teams include Zimbabwe, Poland and two Namibian selections.
The SARU Sevens Academy team to play in the SAFLAND Windhoek Sevens tournament is (SARU contracted unless indicated):
1. Ruhan Nel
2. Philip Snyman
3. Dylan Sage
4. Vincent Maruping
5. Werner Kok
6. Sibahle Maxwane
7. Siviwe Soyizwapi (EP Kings)
8. Stephan Dippenaar
9. Justin Geduld
10. Lungelo Gosa
11. Sandile Ngcobo
12. Sphamandla Ngcobo