South Africa’s Rosko Specman will be a key component of the BlitzBoks’ strategies as they bid to improve on a poor Dubai showing at home in Cape Town this weekend. Photo:David Moir/EPA

CAPE TOWN – It’s that time of the year again. Yep, the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series is here.

With the opening leg of the series a thing of the past, all 16 teams will look to get into the swing of things this weekend after getting a glimpse of what their opponents have to offer in Dubai.

Whether you’re a diehard fan of the game or just keen to get rugby’s biggest party started, here are six players who are guaranteed to bring Dubai’s heat to Cape Town.

Maurice Longbottom (Aus)

Who said he’s too small to play rugby? One of the DHL Impact Players in Dubai and also part of the Dream Team for the opening event, Longbottom has proven to not only be instrumental when it comes to getting points for Australia by scoring tries, but playing a part in creating them as well. 

Example? That pure brilliance against Argentina in Dubai. After picking the ball up just inside Argentina’s half, he deceived almost half of the opposition’s defenders before showing stunning vision and awareness and lightning feet to bounce a stunner of a grubber off his boot and into space for a teammate to finish. What a moment.

Perry Baker (USA)

Another player who caught the eye of the DHL Performance Tracker in the desert was Baker. If there’s one thing the opposition will be hoping for when they’re up against Baker and company, it’s another yellow card for the flyer. 

He scored a double in Dubai against Fiji in the first half and World Rugby Sevens couldn’t have given a better caption to the clip they shared on Twitter of his second try: “Perry Baker doing Perry Baker things.” That’s all he has to do to cause all kinds of problems for his opposition - Perry Baker things.

Tom Mitchell (Eng)

That brace he scored against South Africa in the quarter-final in the UAE hurt, but he can also cause harm without placing the ball beyond the try line. There is a reason why he made the Dream Team in Dubai, and the role he and his hands played in England’s attack at the weekend was beautiful to behold.

Dan Norton (Eng)

Not much of an introduction needed here. Norton, the all-time top try-scorer, added to his already impressive rugby resume when he ran in his 300th five-pointer in scintillating style at the weekend. He’ll come into the Cape Town event with a try tally of 302, and given the reputation his speed and footwork have helped build over the years, it’s highly unlikely that he won’t put it to use in the Mother City, so watch him.

Rosko Specman (SA)

He doesn’t need a lot of time to accelerate, not at all. He’s proven it over a number of years and he again showed it against Zimbabwe in their Dubai opener. The BlitzBok playmaker can create something out of nothing, as he has done so many times before. 

That "Specmagic" will sure be needed when the BlitzBoks try to make amends in Cape Town this weekend, and that should be motivation enough for him to deliver.

Carlin Isles (USA)

That speed. That's all.

@WynonaLouw


Cape Argus

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