Sevens

Blitzboks keen to discard novice tag

2018-04-03 08:08
Selvyn Davids (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Experience may not be one of the tools in the Springbok Sevens team’s armoury as they attempt to win the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time, but they are determined to use the other attributes that could lead to glory as they look to stay ahead of the hunting pack.

The Blitzboks have an eight-point lead on the log table as they enter the seventh of 10 tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series, and with no less than five debutants in the squad, few are banking on them to go all the way.

Nine regulars are currently in Stellenbosch preparing for the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games and the young guns realise they have an opportunity to impress.

Playmaker Selvyn Davids said the focus should be on the squad in Hong Kong.

“I made my debut here last year. Unfortunately, I picked up an injury that ended the season for me, but other than that, it was a highlight in my career. I was nervous, but thinking back, there was no need for that. You just go out and play. The coaches select you for a reason, so it is important to reinforce their faith in you,” the former Griffons player said.

“This time around I have tournaments under the belt and I will be urging the debutants to enjoy the moment, and not fear it. They are talented enough to make us a competitive side out there.”

Another senior in the squad, Zain Davids, said there is no difference in his role as one of leaders in the group.

“Normally the young guys bring the energy,” said Davids, who plays in the forwards and has scored five tries in 36 matches. “It will be good to have that, but I have learned that everyone must bring that. A team full of energy will be hard to beat.”

“The most important aspect when we run out to face South Korea on Friday will be to play as we have trained. We need to trust our processes, trust each other and make sure we play for one other. If we do that, things will go well.”

The Springbok Sevens team (with World Rugby Sevens Series stats):

1. Heino Bezuidenhout (uncapped)
2. Ryan Oosthuizen (6 tournaments, 23 matches, 20 points, 5 tries)
3. Zain Davids (9 tournaments, 36 matches, 20 points, five tries)
4. Marco Labuschagne (2 tournaments, 2 matches, 0 points)
5. Mosolwa Mafuma (uncapped)
6. James Murphy (uncapped)
7. Selvyn Davids (3 tournaments, 15 matches, 21 points, three tries)
8. Dewald Human (captain; 2 tournaments, 7 points, 1 try)
9. Rhyno Smith (uncapped)
10. Stedman Gans (8 tournaments, 30 matches, 20 points, 4 tries)
11. Muller du Plessis (2 tournaments, 8 matches, 5 points)
12. Mfundo Ndhlovu (uncapped)
13. Sandile Ngcobo* (6 tournaments, 20 matches, 4 tries)

*Official replacement player
 
Notes:

- Heino Bezuidenhout, Mosolwa Mafuma, James Murphy, Rhyno Smith and Mfundo Ndhlovu will all make their Springbok Sevens and World Rugby Sevens Series debuts

- Dewald Human, who takes over the captaincy from Philip Snyman for this tournament, will lead his country for the first time
 
The Springbok Sevens schedule in Pool C (SA times):
 
Friday, April 6

v South Korea - 13:10
 
Saturday, April 7

v Scotland - 06:22
v England - 10:26

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