Cape Town - Experienced Blitzbok Chris Dry
will make a return to competitive rugby next week after being named in the SA
Rugby Sevens Academy side to contest the International Invitational Tournament
at the Dubai Sevens.
Dry’s last appearance in the
green and gold was at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens in December 2018, where he
sustained a serious knee injury that ruled him out of the remainder of the HSBC
World Rugby Sevens Series in 2018, as well as the Rugby World Cup Sevens
tournament in San Francisco, USA in July.
Dry, a veteran of 64 tournaments
for the Blitzboks, will also help SA Rugby Sevens Academy coach, Marius
Schoeman in a guidance capacity, as he will form a leadership group with Sako
Makata and James Murphy.
Schoeman explained that he
decided to split the captaincy duties between the three players as part of the
overall Academy strategy.
“We are not moulding and
delivering the next generations of Blitzboks, we are also trying to develop
future leaders for the system,” said Schoeman.
“The likes of Sako and James have
the potential to grow into that role and it would be silly to discard the
experience Chris will give this team.”
Schoeman called on a mix of old
and new player to make the trip to Dubai, where they will face Samurai, Kuban
Rugby Club and Germany.
Apart from capped Blitzboks in Dry, Murphy and Mfundo
Ndhlovu, the coach also recalled WJ Strydom, who last played for the national
side in 2014.
The University of Pretoria
student is completing his teaching degree and will be joined by two more
students in Angus van Niekerk (Maties) and Kurt-Lee Arendse (UWC), while there
is also a recall for Donovan du Randt, who returns to the team after a stint in
Blue Bulls Under-21
flank, JC Pretorius, and Western Province Under-19 wing, Angelo Davids,
are also back on sevens duty, having last played for the Academy side in South
America in January.
Schoeman is also keen to evaluate
the efforts from the Sharks duo, Luyanda Mngidi, and Ilunga Mukendi, who
will travel with the team for the first time.
“This squad have loads of
potential, no doubt,” said Schoeman.
“The younger guys will have some
luxury in having old hands around, but this is pretty much a tournament where I
hope the players grow and develop in the squad set-up. Everyone is aware that
this is a pathway not only to higher honours, but also to grow as a member of
the Blitzboks set-up.”
SA Rugby Sevens Academy
1. Chris Dry
2. James Murphy
3. Sako Makata
4. JC Pretorius
5. Luyanda Mngidi
6. Kurt-Lee Arendse
7. Donovan du Randt
8. WJ Strydom
9. Angus van Niekerk
10. Ilunga Mukendi
11. Angelo Davids
12. Mfundo Ndhlovu