Afrika boost for Blitzbokke

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iol spt dec2 Cecil Afrika Getty Images The Springbok Sevens team have been bolstered by the return of playmaker Cecil Afrika ahead of Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens. File picture

Johannesburg – The Springbok Sevens team have been bolstered by the return of playmaker Cecil Afrika to the squad ahead of Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens this weekend in Port Elizabeth.

“It's nice to have Cecil back, he is an inspirational player and a great team member so his presence will no doubt give the boys an extra lift,” Blitzbokke coach Paul Treu said on Monday.

Afrika was one of three players called up by Treu for the South African leg of the IRB World Sevens Series.

“However, we will not take unnecessary risks with him and he will only play if he is fully fit,” Treu said.

Bernado Botha and Cheslin Kolbe are the other two additions to the squad after captain Kyle Brown was ruled out of action because of a broken ankle.

Treu, who will name his final 12-man squad on Thursday afternoon, said his troops were glad to be on home soil, playing in front of the South African supporters.

“The Port Elizabeth fans gave us unbelievable support last year and we could feel the buzz in the city upon our arrival last night.”

The South Africans lost 14-10 against Argentina in the bowl final in Dubai to leave them in sixth place of 17 teams in the world series.

“The guys realise that they did not play to their potential in Dubai and we will work hard on our mental preparation to hopefully deliver the type of performances that will make our fans proud of us.”

South Africa will face a tough challenge in Pool A when they host the third round of the Sevens World Series this coming weekend.

The Blitzbokke will play Samoa, who won the Dubai Sevens on Saturday, France and Australia.

They had their first outdoor activity on Monday afternoon since arriving in Port Elizabeth from Dubai on Sunday evening. – Sapa


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