Three changes for Blitzboks for LA Sevens
Blitzboks coach Neil Powell has made three changes to the squad that lost in the final of the Sydney Sevens earlier this month for next week’s Los Angeles Sevens, with Justin Geduld, Chris Dry and Zain Davids being rested after featuring in all four tournaments of the series so far.
Ryan Oosthuizen, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Mfundo Ndhlovu make their return for a tournament that will mark Werner Kok’s 50th World Rugby Sevens Series tournament.
Oosthuizen (in for Dry) and Arendse (in for Geduld) both played in the opening two tournaments of the season, while Ndhlovu last played in Paris last year when the 2018/19 World Series concluded.
Ndhlovu will travel as official reserve, with Sako Makata elevated into the starting team to take over from Davids.
Stedman Gans will again captain the side in the absence of Siviwe Soyizwapi, who just missed the return-to-play deadline for this trip.
The Blitzboks, currently second on the overall log, have been drawn in the same pool as Kenya, Canada and Ireland.
The South Africans will face Ireland and Canada for the first time in the current series, but will find familiar foes in Kenya, with their match against fellow Africans their fourth of the season. The East Africans outplayed the Blitzboks in their previous meeting in Hamilton.
Kok will follow in the footsteps of Branco du Preez, Chris Dry, Kyle Brown, Frankie Horne, Cecil Afrika, Philip Snyman and Justin Geduld when he takes the field in his 250th match for his country.
Springbok Sevens squad for the LA Sevens is: Angelo Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Sako Makata, Werner Kok, JC Pretorius, Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Muller du Plessis, Stedman Gans (captain), Mfundo Ndhlovu.
The Springbok Sevens squad for the HSBC LA Sevens is:
1. Angelo Davids (four tournaments, 20 matches; 65 points, 13 tries)
2. Ryan Oosthuizen (19 tournaments, 95 matches; 95 points, 19 tries)
3. Impi Visser (13 tournaments, 64 matches; 65 points, 13 tries)
4. Sako Makata (seven tournaments, 26 matches; 10 points, two tries)
5. Werner Kok (49 tournaments, 249 matches; 530 points, 106 tries)
6. JC Pretorius (nine tournaments, 48 matches, 110 points, 22 tries)
7. Branco du Preez (73 tournaments, 369 matches; 1316 points, 94 tries, 420 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop goal)
8. Selvyn Davids (18 tournaments, 90 matches; 372 points, 39 tries, 87 conversions, 1 penalty)
9. Kurt-Lee Arendse (six tournaments, 25 matches; 55 points, 11 tries)
10. Cecil Afrika (64 tournaments, 333 matches; 1445 points, 176 tries, 281 conversions, 1 penalty)
11. Muller du Plessis (12 tournaments, 51 matches; 170 points, 34 tries)
12. Stedman Gans (captain; 20 tournaments, 94 matches; 140 points, 28 tries)
13. Mfundo Ndhlovu (four tournaments, 17 matches; 25 points, five tries) – official reserve
The Pools for the HSBC LA Sevens are:
Pool A: Fiji, Argentina, France, Korea
Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Canada, Kenya
Poo C: USA, Australia, Scotland, Samoa
Pool D: England, New Zealand, Wales, Spain