Johannesburg – Springbok sevens scrumhalf Branco du Preez suffered a hamstring injury during training and will not play in the Dubai Sevens leg of the Sevens World Series, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) said on Wednesday.
Du Preez, one of the senior players in the squad, will travel home on Wednesday evening and his replacement, Ruwellyn Isbell, has already joined the SA squad.
Isbell travelled to Dubai over the weekend as part of the Saru Elite Player Development squad.
Isbell recently made his Springbok sevens debut, during round one of the World Series at the Gold Coast in Brisbane, Australia.
The Dubai leg takes place on Friday and Saturday in the desert city.
South Africa, a three-time winner in Dubai, face tournament champions England, Samoa and Portugal during the pool stages on Friday.
Springbok coach Paul Treu confirmed that former IRB Sevens Player of the Year Cecil Africa will join the squad on Monday, ahead of the all-important Port Elizabeth leg of the series.
The playmaker is not part of the squad for Dubai because of a niggling knee injury.
“Cecil's recovery is progressing very nicely and he will undergo another fitness test before the end of the week to ascertain his readiness,” Treu said.
“Irrespective of the outcome of the fitness test, he will still join us in PE next week so that our medical staff can keep an eye on him.” – Sapa