Johannesburg - The Blitzboks' inspirational captain, Siviwe Soyizwapi, will miss this weekend's HSBC Sevens Series tournament in Seville, Spain, a statement from SA Rugby revealed on Monday.
Soyizwapi injured himself in the first match of the recently concluded Malagna Sevens, won by the Blitzboks in spectacular fashion on Sunday night, and did not take further part in the tournament. The skipper will be replaced by Shaun Williams, who was scheduled to depart for Spain on Monday evening. Impi Visser, meanwhile, will take up the captaincy of the squad in Seville.
Williams, of the Lions, is no stranger to the Blitzboks having made his debut for the team in Vancouver last year. Thus far, the 23-year-old has played 20 matches for the national men's Sevens team, scoring eight tries in the process.
Williams revealed he is grateful to join the squad and wished Soyizwapi a speedy recovery.
“It is never nice to replace someone who is injured," said the utility-back, "and I hope ‘Shakes’ is back to full fitness in no time. This does give me another opportunity to join the guys on tour again and contribute and that is something to look forward to.”
The Blitzboks will again play in Pool A of this weekend's competition, starting on Friday, this time against USA and Spain. World Rugby has indicated that due to Fiji's continued absence, only 15 teams will play in Seville, handing the Pool A teams a bye in the process.
The Blitzboks recently won their fifth consecutive Sevens tournament with a heart-stopping 24-17 victory over Argentina in Malagna and currently top the standings with 66 points, 13 points clear of the Argentines.