Cape Town - The SA Rugby Sevens Academy and SA Women's Sevens Select
squad were crowned champions in Italy on Saturday when both teams won their
respective tournaments at the Roma Sevens, played in Rome.
The men's team won their fourth consecutive title by beating
Brazil's national team 19-7 in the final, whilst the women's team won their
second invitational title by beating Kenya 40-0 in the final. The team also won
the Hong Kong Invitational tournament two months ago.
After their respective finals, Werner Kok and Nadine Roos
were also named Player of the Finals. Kok showed that he had fully recovered
from his knee injury sustained last year and Roos scored 30 points in the
Women's final, scoring four tries and kicking five conversions.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell travelled to Rome to
follow the progress of Werner Kok and Frankie Horne amongst others and
afterwards said he was happy with what he saw. Powell will name his provisional
Olympic Games squad next week.
"It was good to see Werner and Frankie back in action
and they definitely threw their names in the hat for selection," said
"Both had to work very hard with conditioning coach
Johan van Wyk to get back to a level where they could compete again. Credit to
all of them, it is testament of the character of those players, who really
worked hard to get back in shape."
The coach was equally pleased with the performances of
Branco du Preez, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Sandile Ngcobo and Stephan Dippenaar, all
contracted Springbok Sevens players.
"It is probably not fair to highlight individuals, but
the group performed well. They all had limited playing time in the HSBC World
Sevens Series this year and used every opportunity. I have a couple of
selection headaches this week, that is for sure," said Powell.
For the SA Women's Sevens Select coach Renfred Dazel, a
victory in their last tournament of the season was pretty pleasing.
"We had a number of injuries coming here and lost even
more players here, so to win was a massive effort from the team," said
"I am very pleased that we could finish the season like
this. We introduced new players this year and is looking to bring in more, so a
win brings good publicity to the team."
Dazel feels the progress the team showed was very
"If I look where we were when we played in Dubai and
where we are now as a squad, I think we improved a lot. We definitely moved
forward as a group and in the way we compete," Dazel said.
Nadine Roos, who was named Player of the Tournament, handed
all credit to the team."We had to stick together and work as a
team," said Roos. "The support everyone gave and showed was a
highlight for me at this tournament