CAPE TOWN - Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell has shown faith in his side who, on Saturday successfully defended their Dubai Sevens title, when he named the team for the high-anticipated Cape Town tournament this weekend.
The Blitzboks this week find themselves in exactly the same position as a year ago, when they returned from the desert city as victors only to come unstuck against England in front of their home supporters.
The South Africans know the taste of victory in front of a sold-out Cape Town Stadium after they won the title in 2015, the first year the South African-leg of the ten-city World Series was hosted in the Mother City.
“All the players would love to play in their only home tournament on the circuit, so the result at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens made it easy for me to pick the team,” said Powell.
“Everyone returned fit from that tournament and will have the added motivation of playing in front of a very supportive home crowd.”
Powell did make one change when he named Siviwe Soyizwapi as the official reserve in place of Marco Labuschagne, who travelled with the Blitzboks to Dubai. Soyizwapi, who is not new to the Blitzboks, was given the captaincy of the SA Rugby Academy squad in Dubai.
“Siviwe performed very well there and he will slot in easily, should one of our players pick up an injury which rules him out of the tournament,” said Powell.
The Springboks, who will take on Russia, France and Kenya in Pool A this weekend, will want to iron out some defensive blunders that saw them narrowly beat (invitational team) Uganda in their first Pool match in Dubai.
“We needed to fine-tune a couple of things that we did not execute well in Dubai,” said Powell.
“Yes, we did that and we still have two training sessions left this week, so we have to ensure the players are mentally ready for the big event.”
The Springbok Sevens team for the HSBC Cape Town Sevens:
1. Chris Dry
2. Philip Snyman (captain)
3. Tim Agaba
4. Kwagga Smith
5. Werner Kok
6. Kyle Brown
7. Branco du Preez
8. Rosko Specman
9. Justin Geduld
10. Cecil Afrika
11. Seabelo Senatla
12. Ruhan Nel
13. Siviwe Soyizwapi (reserve)
South Africa’s schedule for Saturday, 9 December is (SA kick-off times):