Johannesburg - The Springbok Sevens team were given a temporary setback as Junior Boks Seabelo Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe were unable to train with them in Moscow on Tuesday.
According to the supersport.com website, the duo, who joined the Blitzbokke on Monday night at their team hotel in the centre of Moscow, have been struggling after three weeks of hard rugby at the Junior World Championship in France and need some time to make the switch back to Sevens.
Both were stars in the Junior Boks’ third-place finish in the tournament, but it was expected they would be able to make the transition back a lot easier than they did.
Coach Paul Treu and his assistant Vuyo Zangqa had to change their training plans as the two aren’t likely to resume a full regiment of training and may have to be phased in accordingly.
“We’ve decided to give them today off,” Zangqa told superpsort.com. “They will be doing something in the gym as well, but that all depends on how they feel.
“We’ve decided to take it day by day with them and watch their progress and see when they will come in. We may decide to bring them in tomorrow and do something on the field with them. It all depends how they feel as well.”
Already Treu and co seem to be doing a juggling act – especially considering Kyle Brown, Stephan Dippenaar, Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika are just back from injury as well and while they have been medically cleared to play, less may be more for them in terms of the preparation.
The Blitzbokke finally got onto the field on Tuesday, and were able to get their first training session in after only being able to have a gym session on Monday.
“Yesterday we had a gym session. We all are still finding our feet here in Moscow and the guys are looking forward to training again. At the moment things are looking good,” Zangqa said.
“We stay right opposite the river and the area we stay in is very calm. Looking at the city it is definitely not a bad place at all.”
The assistant coach did admit there is a bit more of a vibe in the team hotel at the moment, with 16 Women’s teams alongside the 24 men’s teams preparing for the tournament, but said it simply added to the excitement.
“If we look at the other teams it is always the same, it’s always not showing your game face. But with the women in the hotel it creates a different vibe; it is a lot noisier. But we’re professionals so it doesn’t bother us. All we are looking for is our players to stay grounded and focused on the task.”
The Blitzbokke open their Rugby World Cup campaign on Friday against the hosts Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium. On Saturday they complete their pool rounds with matches against Scotland and Japan before moving onto the knockout rounds on Sunday.