Human, Ndhlovu to join Blitzboks in France

2018-06-04 12:51
Dewald Human (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Dewald Human and Mfundo Ndhlovu will replace the injured Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez in the Springbok Sevens squad for this weekend’s Paris Sevens (June 9-10) at the Stade Jean Bouin in the French capital.

Afrika (hamstring) and Du Preez (shoulder) will return to South Africa for treatment, while Human and Ndhlovo will fly out to France on Monday.

Human made his debut for the Blitzboks in Paris last year and captained the side to Hong Kong in March, where they won bronze.

Ndhlovu, who debuted in Hong Kong earlier this season, will join the squad as 13th player. Stedman Gans, who travelled to London as the official reserve, was promoted to the starting squad.

Afrika and Du Preez played in 61 tournaments respectively for the Blitzboks and are South Africa's leading point scorers of all time. Afrika has amassed 1 430 points in 318 matches for his country and Du Preez has 1 162 points in 305 matches.

Leading Blitzboks try-scorer, Seabelo Senatla, meanwhile said the team will come back stronger following their 21-17 defeat to Fiji in the London Sevens final.

Senatla made a return to the Blitzboks in London after playing Super Rugby for the Stormers and played off the bench as part of his re-integration. He scored a memorable try against Samoa on the first day at Twickenham and added his 221st try for the team against England in the Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

“Sevens is all about scoring when you have opportunities and Fiji did that better than us,” said Senatla.

“We will work on that and come back a stronger team in Paris. We would like to get another shot at them and turn the tables.

“My return to the squad was good; the coach managed me well. It was the right thing to start with Shakes (Siviwe Soyizwapi), as he is playing well this season and I was happy to play off the bench. Now the focus will be on Paris and to finish the World Series on a high.”

The Blitzboks can still retain their World Rugby Sevens Series crown but their fate is in the hands of Fiji, who lead by seven points at the top of the standings.

If the Fijians qualify from their group, South Africa would need to win the Paris Sevens and hope the islanders lose in the Cup quarter-finals.

Pools for this weekend’s Paris Sevens:

Pool A: Fiji, New Zealand, Kenya, Samoa
Pool B: South Africa, Canada, Russia, Scotland
Pool C: Ireland, Australia, Wales, Spain
Pool D: England, USA, Argentina, France       


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