Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens rugby squad started their final preparation camp for the upcoming HSBC World Sevens Series with a full day of training and planning sessions on Monday in Stellenbosch.
The large training squad that assembled at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport consisted of several Springboks from the 15-man code, who have been included in the Blitzboks’ training squad for the upcoming season.
The World Series kicks off in Dubai on December 4 and 5 and will be followed by the first ever HSBC Cape Town Sevens tournament a week later.
Amongst those who joined the regular Sevens group were Springboks Lwazi Mvovo, Cornal Hendricks, Warren Whiteley and new Sevens contracted player Francois Hougaard. Other invited Springboks such as Bryan Habana, Damian de Allende and Ryan Kankowski are presently busy with overseas club commitments and will join the squad at a later stage.
Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, said he was relieved to get the camp going in preparation for the start of the season.
Powell said: “I am really excited for what lies ahead over the next few weeks before the season kicks off in Dubai. Today was a very busy and productive day. It was very important for our medical team to have a look at everyone, especially the new additions to the squad.”
The players spent some time in the gym and practising their lineout and aerial skills in the Paul Roos indoor centre. They capped the day with a late afternoon field session.
According to Powell, the rest of the week will see the training group focusing on their intensity and the breakdown area. “At this stage we’re planning to play a couple of training matches at the end of next week, which would give us a good indication of what our squad should look like for the tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town,” said Powell.