SA draw NZ for Edinburgh

2010-04-28 19:14

Johannesburg - South Africa and New Zealand will contest Pool B of the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens at Murrayfield on May 29-30, the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced earlier on Wednesday.

The Scotland tournament is the eighth and final leg of the 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series. Italy and Russia complete the Pool B line-up.

The event follows one week after the London Sevens at Twickenham, where South Africa's Pool C opponents are Fiji, Canada and France.

The Springbok Sevens won their first World Series title last season, but has so far this season failed to reach the semi-final of any of the previous six tournaments.

After the first six events in Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Australia and Hong Kong, Samoa currently lead the World Series by three points from eight-time winners New Zealand.

As a result the Samoans are also top seeds in the 16-team Murrayfield tournament with New Zealand, Australia and the USA also heading a pool based on results from the last two tournaments.

Although the team will be without the services of Sampie Mastriet and Branco du Preez, called up to the SA Under-20 team for the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina, the return to action after long term injuries to three experienced players will give the SA Sevens teams a more familiar look at Twickenham and Edinburgh.

Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, has confirmed the return to action of Paul Delport, Mzwandile Stick and Renfred Dazel. All three missed a big part of the current season through injury. The final squad for the London and Edinburgh tournaments will be confirmed at a later stage.

Treu also confirmed that 19-year old Lions wing Wandile Mjekevu, will train with his team for the next two weeks after a request from Lions coach Dick Muir.

"I'm looking forward to work with the player, because he has great potential. We will focus on sharpening his skills and other aspects of his game.

"He's a member of the SA U20 team for the World Championship and will not be part of our plans for Twickenham and Edinburgh. However, I've already discussed with Dick the possibility of including him in our team for the Commonwealth Games, and maybe to use him in the first two tournaments of next season (Dubai and George)," explained Treu.