South Africa will be determined to bounce back at Twickenham this coming weekend when they compete at the Marriott London Sevens, the last tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The Blitzbokke will be hoping to shrug off a disappointing showing in Glasgow, where they lost the Cup quarterfinal clash against hosts, England, and the subsequent Plate semifinal against Samoa.
In naming his 12-man squad for the ninth and final tournament of the season, South Africa Sevens coach, Paul Treu, recalled veteran Neil Powell while handing a debut to Cheslin Kolbe, who is a member of the SA Sevens Academy in Stellenbosch.
Powell, set to play in his 33rd World Series tournament, replaces the injured Stephan Dippenaar while Kolbe was preferred over Ryan Nell, the Matie wing who made his SA Sevens debut last week in Scotland.
“Cheslin has done well at the Academy and I believe this is the right time to give him an opportunity,” said Treu.
Team captain Kyle Brown said South Africa had a culture of hard work, dedication and self-belief.
“Every squad member is bitterly disappointed with the performances in Scotland, but we have a final chance to play much better and to end the season on a more positive note. We don't want to make any excuses for ourselves,” said Brown, with reference to the numerous injury setbacks the team have suffered during the past few months.
“Those things are part and parcel of the game and the time has come for the senior players to lead the way and show why they are currently in those roles. It will start with me first, as I will be going all out to lead from the front and play to the best of my ability. I will demand nothing but the best effort from every player over the weekend,” added Brown.
The SA Sevens skipper was cleared to play after an ankle injury prevented him from taking the field on Sunday in Glasgow.
Their pool matches in London are against Portugal (12:36), Scotland (15:42) and Australia (19:44).
The Springbok Sevens squad for the London Sevens: Chris Dry, Neil Powell, Frankie Horne, Pieter Engelbrecht, Cornal Hendricks, Kyle Brown (captain), Branco du Preez, Jamba Ulengo, Clayton Blommetjies, Philip Burger, Steven Hunt, Cheslin Kolbe. – Sapa