File picture of Stephen Dippenaar. Picture: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – The South African Rugby Union (Saru) said on Sunday that Stephen Dippenaar had been ruled out of next weekend's Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament because of a hamstring injury.

His replacement in the Springbok Sevens team will be announced on Tuesday.

Dippenaar was one of three South African players injured in Dubai while taking part in Round 2 of the Sevens World Series. South Africa lost only one match during the two-day event, going down ot Fiji in the final.

Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo (foot injury) were ruled out of action on Saturday while Frankie Horne sustained a leg injury in their 26-12 semi-final victory over England.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said a replacement for Dippenaar would join the squad on Tuesday.

“We have players in mind but will announce that on Tuesday morning. Stephan and Jamba have already flown back to Cape Town, where they will both see specialists.”

Powell indicated there is a possibility that Ulengo might still be able to play in PE.

“We believe Jamba has a 50/50 chance to play, but we will not take any chances. Frankie took a knock on his leg and we will see how he reacts to treatment before making any decision,” added the SA Sevens coach.

Powell, in his first season as head coach of the Springbok Sevens since taking over from long-serving Paul Treu, led the team to his first Cup final in only his second World Series tournament since taking charge. South Africa lost 29-17 against Fiji who captured their first Dubai title.

Fiji jumped to second place on the log and they now have 35 points, just four behind World Series leaders New Zealand (39), with South Africa (34) and England (32) within striking distance heading to Port Elizabeth next weekend. – Sapa