Cape Town - Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown will play in
his 50th tournament for the Springbok Sevens, while Dylan Sage will make his
South African debut and Rosko Specman is back for the Cape Town Sevens this
The squad was announced in Cape Town on Thursday and the
inclusion of Sage is one of two changes to the Springbok Sevens’ 12-man squad
that won the Plate Final last weekend in Dubai. The changes are as a result of
injuries to Cecil Afrika (hamstring) and Werner Kok (knee).
Kok will undergo knee surgery in Cape Town on Thursday and
the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year will be out of action for at least
six months, while Afrika will be sidelined for two weeks.
Specman replaces Afrika after a superb performance last
weekend for the Samurai team in Dubai.
The Pumas speedster has already played in six World Series
The strongly built Sage, in for Kok, played on the wing for Ikeys
in the Varsity Cup earlier this year and is equally at home amongst the sevens forwards.
The 23-year old recently signed a SARU Sevens contract and has played on
numerous occasions for the successful SARU Sevens Academy.
The Blitzboks will be defending their home title and are
aiming for a third straight Cup win on home soil after two successive wins in
Brown said the team was extremely excited by the prospects
of playing in front of a capacity crowd at Cape Town Stadium.
“The support of the fans in Cape Town haven been absolutely
fantastic so far this week,” said Brown.
“I think our performances the previous years in PE has shown
that we can handle the pressure of playing at home. We have spoken about the
pressure and the expectations of the home crowd and we are embracing the
Blitzboks coach Neil Powell said the squad was in a good
“The guys are up for it and looking forward to play in front
of 110 000 fans over the two days,” said Powell.
“I am happy with our preparations and we have worked really
hard to solve the mistakes we made in Dubai.”
Commenting on the changes, Powell said: “Injuries are part
and parcel of the game and it’s unfortunate that we have lost both Cecil and
Werner. However, that again give opportunities to Rosko and Dylan, and I am
sure they are excited about the challenge.”
The South Africans are grouped with Zimbabwe, Kenya and
England in Pool B. They start their campaign on Saturday at 12:49 against
neighbours Zimbabwe, then tackle Kenya at 16:10, while their last fixture is at
19:56 against England.
The Springbok Sevens squad for the Cape Town Sevens
tournament (SARU contracted unless specified, number of World Series
tournaments in brackets):
1. Chris Dry (45)
2. Philip Snyman (31)
3. Francois Hougaard (1)
4. Kwagga Smith (16)
5. Dylan Sage (0)
6. Kyle Brown (49 - captain)
7. Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province, 9)
8. Ryno Benjamin (Toyota Free State Cheetahs, 30)
9. Justin Geduld (19)
10. Rosko Specman (6)
11. Seabelo Senatla (20)
12. Juan de Jongh (Western Province, 2)