Cape Town – Blitzboks playmaker Justin Geduld has recovered from the injury that cut short his participation in last weekend’s Dubai Sevens.
This has allowed coach Neil Powell to name the same squad for this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.
Geduld’s replacement in Dubai, Selvyn Davids, is again listed as the official replacement.
“I was pleased with the performances against Scotland and Fiji, our last two matches last Saturday, and I saw more of that fluency and urgency in training as well this week,” said Powell, whose side finished sixth in Dubai.
“Knowing the players, they will all be desperate to correct last weekend’s disappointments and they get a chance to redeem themselves this week.”
Powell called in Chris Dry and Mfundo Ndhlovu to train with the Blitzboks this week, but was happy to tackle Pool A opponents New Zealand, Samoa and Zimbabwe with the same squad.
“We have learned lessons from last weekend, but that is also true for the other teams in the tournament,” said Powell.
“Everybody knows a little more of each other than was the case last week, so it will be tougher to break down defences, no doubt. That said, we know we can only improve from last week and that is a nice prospect.”
Powell said the focus remains on the first match against Samoa at 12:27 on Saturday.
“We had a tough battle against them in Dubai and this time it will not be different,” said Powell of their Pacific Island opponents, who were beaten 19-12 by the Blitzboks last weekend.
“They are a very physical side with some big, fast players and we will have to be very sharp for our opening match.”
Meanwhile, Powell also congratulated team physiotherapist, Hugh Everson, who will be running repairs for the Blitzboks in his 100th tournament.
“It was not planned like this, but I am pleased that Hugh can share this milestone with the Blitzboks fans in South Africa,” said Powell.
“He has been with the team since the days when I was still a player and he continues to be an important member of management. Congratulations to Hugh, it is well deserved.”
The Springbok Sevens squad for the Cape Town Sevens:
1. Impi Visser (1 tournament, 6 matches, 0 points)
2. Philip Snyman (captain – 55 tournaments; 254 matches, 346 points, 63 tries, 16 conversions)
3. Ryan Oosthuizen (11 tournaments; 50 matches, 60 points, 12 tries)
4. Zain Davids (14 tournaments; 65 matches, 50 points, 10 tries)
5. Werner Kok (38 tournaments; 190 matches, 435 points, 87 tries)
6. Kyle Brown (66 tournaments; 333 matches, 425 points, 85 tries)
7. Branco du Preez (62 tournaments; 310 matches, 1175 points, 83 tries)
8. Rosko Specman (27 tournaments; 144 matches, 360 points, 66 tries, 15 conversions)
9. Justin Geduld (37 tournaments; 188 matches, 835 points, 86 tries)
10. Dewald Human (5 tournaments; 23 matches, 74 points, 8 tries, 13 conversions)
11. Siviwe Soyizwapi (19 tournaments; 95 matches, 290 points, 58 tries)
12. Muller du Plessis (5 tournaments; 26 matches, 85 points, 17 tries)
13. Selvyn Davids* (6 tournaments; 27 matches, 102 points, 14 tries, 16 conversions)
* Replacement player
– Kyle Brown (67th) will move one tournament closer to the all-time Blitzboks mark of 68 World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments achieved by Frankie Horne.
Branco du Preez (1 175) is second on the Blitzboks all-time points’ scoring list. Cecil Afrika (1 430) heads that list.
The Springboks Sevens match schedule for Saturday, December 8:
12:27 v Samoa
15:48 v Zimbabwe
19:56 v New Zealand