Agaba blow for Blitzbokke
Cape Town - He was one of the more impressive newcomers to the Blitzbok squad last season, so Tim Agaba’s enforced absence is a huge blow for the first two World Series tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town.
SA Rugby announced on Monday that former Eastern Province No 8 Agaba – a powerful ball-carrier and deadly defender – picked up an ankle injury in a warm-up tournament in Namibia a week ago, and will require rehabilitation.
Kwagga Smith is also battling with a quad problem and Stephan Dippenaar is nursing a stiff back, who will see them sit out training this week. But good news for Blitzbok coach Neil Powell is that Seabelo Senatla has fully recovered from the wrist injury that ruled him out of the Rio Olympic semi-final against Great Britain.
“It is a pity indeed, as Tim has played in every tournament since his debut in the Sydney Sevens in February,” Powell said on Monday. “He was really becoming a core member of our team and he will be missed. Luckily, the injury is not of such a nature that he will be out of action for too long, and we are keen to see him train with us again in a couple of weeks.”
Senatla proved his fitness by playing for the SA Academy team at the WP Club Sevens tournament in Goodwood at the weekend, while Smith withdrew after being initially scheduled to play.
Senatla will feature for the Blitzbokke in at least the first four events before joining the Stormers for Super Rugby, with Dubai and Cape Town followed by Wellington (January 28-29) and Sydney (February 4-5).
The Springbok Sevens have been drawn in Pool B for the Dubai Sevens on December 2-3, where they will face USA, Scotland and Uganda, with the Cape Town tournament a week later.
Powell will name his final squad for Dubai and Cape Town on Friday.@ashfakmohamed