Cape Town - SARU has confirmed a strong SA Sevens Academy squad, featuring several players with Sevens World Series experience, to participate in forthcoming international invitational tournaments in Harare and Dubai.
The Harare tournament takes places this coming weekend (November 29 and 30) and will serve as the CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) qualifying tournament to determine an additional African country for the Hong Kong Sevens in March 2015.
The Dubai Invitational takes place on December 5 and 6 and forms part of an international sevens festival in the United Arab Emirates, which features Round 2 of the Sevens World Series, a World Rugby Women’s Series event and several other junior boys and girls tournaments.
Chris Dry, Steven Hunt, WJ Strydom, Shaun Adendorff and Rosko Specman are the senior players in the Academy squad and all of them have played in numerous World Series tournaments around the globe. The rest of the team consist of an exciting crop of young and promising players presently contracted to the SA Sevens Academy in Stellenbosch.
They include among others Vincent Maruping, the CUT Varsity Cup flank who is the brother of former SA Schools representative Victor, and Stormers and Western Province wing Devon Williams, who is one of several new intakes at the Academy. Another Academy debutant is utility back Dewald Human, who made the move from the Blue Bulls.
These youngsters will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent Academy graduates to the Springbok Sevens team, such as Justin Geduld, Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok and Seabelo Senatla, who has all been part of victorious Blitzbokke teams in the recent past.
In Harare the South Africans will cross swords with the best African selections from hosts Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Tunisia, Nigeria and Madagascar. The twelve teams will be divided into two groups and the two top placed teams to emerge from Saturday’s pool action will contest the semi-finals on Sunday.
In Dubai next week the Academy squad will line up against international selections from Russia, Belgium, Germany, Kenya, the Gulf region and England.
The Academy team is coached and managed by Marius Schoeman, himself a former Springbok Sevens stalwart who represented South Africa in 42 World Series tournaments. The squad will depart on Friday for Harare and fly next Monday to Dubai.
The 12-man SA Sevens Academy squad to play in Harare and Dubai:
1. Carel du Preez (formerly of WP Under-21 and a new recruit at the Academy)
2. Chris Dry (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
3. Vincent Maruping - (CUT, Varsity Cup player)
4. Josh Moon - (SARU Academy, has represented the Academy previously in Rome)
5. Shaun Adendorff (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
6. WJ Strydom (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
7. Devon Williams (represented Stormers and WP on the wing, new Academy recruit)
8. Lungelo Gosa (Academy contracted player)
9. Sandile Ngcobo (Academy contracted player)
10. Rosko Specman (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
11. Steven Hunt - (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
12. Dewald Human (Formerly of Blue Bulls, new Academy recruit)
Marius Schoeman - Team Manager and Head coach
Paul Delport - Assistant coach
Wernich Smith - physio