Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell says cutting his squad for the opening leg of the World Sevens Series wasn’t an easy call, but he’s pleased with the selections he’s made for the Dubai event.
Experienced campaigner Philip Snyman will lead the side for a third season, while Zain Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Werner Kok, Justin Geduld, Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi and the uncapped Impi Visser are all on board for the desert city.
Selvyn Davids has been named as the official replacement player, while Stedman Gans, Cecil Afrika and Heino Bezuidenhout were not considered due to injury.
The defending champions will be looking to build momentum right from the start as they hunt their third successive Series title.
And while the BlitzBoks will be one of the favourites, Powell said they have no choice but to focus on themselves as opposed to what the opposition might bring – an objective made easier seeing that no team can really know what to expect in the opening tournament.
“A number of the guys were unlucky not to make the side, but it is good to have that depth. We have a solid core of experienced players and I am expecting them to show that in Dubai," Powell said.
“Those outside the squad will play for the SA Academy side in Dubai. They will not only get valuable game time, but also an opportunity to stake their claim against international opponents – just look at Impi as an example.”
Visser made his SA Rugby Sevens Academy debut in Dubai in 2016. The 23-year-old, who was a member of Tuks’ Varsity Cup winning side in 2017, made the move to Stellenbosch this year.
And now the Fifteens backline player (scrumhalf and centre) turned Blitzboks forward says he hasn’t stopped smiling since receiving the news.
“I am very excited about the opportunity,” said Visser.
“It is a massive honour and privilege and I don’t think I have stopped smiling since I was told I’ll be making my debut in Dubai. It was a long and hard road for me, recovering from injury and finishing my studies as well, but all is now worth the effort.”
Squad for Dubai: Impi Visser, Philip Snyman, Ryan Oosthuizen, Zain Davids, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez. Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Muller du Plessis, Selvyn Davids (Replacement Player)@WynonaLouw