Blitzboks seeking some Monaco magic

ZAIN Davids will be back for the Blitzboks this weekend in Monaco. BackpagePix

ZAIN Davids will be back for the Blitzboks this weekend in Monaco. BackpagePix

Published Jun 18, 2024


Mike Greenaway

THE Bliltzboks have been boosted by the return of the experienced Zain Davids and Shilton van Wyk for the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco this weekend.

South Africa will play Mexico, Tonga and Chile in pool play in the tournament where the winners will fill the last spot at the Rugby Sevens of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Davids and Van Wyk both missed the squad’s previous trip to Europe, the SVNS Grand Finale in Madrid, as they were rested with the Monaco trip in mind, and according to interim head coach Philip Snyman, it was a worthwhile exercise.

“Both Zain and Shilton played in all the tournaments for us and we felt it would be better for them to miss the Madrid one and to freshen up for Monaco, as they will be needed in what is a very important tournament for us,” Snyman explained.

The squad for Monaco will consist of 12 players and not the 13 that usually travel to the SVNS events on tour, and according to Snyman, this impacted on team selection.

“We needed a little bit of versatility in the squad, as you have one player less and for us, Siviwe Soyizwapi will fill that role and will play on the wing and in the forwards.

“We are also lucky to have Selvyn Davids and Rosko Specman who can play in several positions.”

Snyman said they travel to Monaco with a clear mind on the task ahead. He said their preparations went well and they have confidence in getting the job done.

“The goal is straightforward: To win in Monaco and gain entry to the Paris Olympics. The whole squad agrees that we were our own worst enemies during the SVNS series and only we can fix that.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves and no one is thinking about Paris yet. We need to lay a foundation against Mexico and follow it up on Day Two and get the best possible draw for the play-offs on Day Three,” said Snyman.

Pools in Monaco

A: South Africa, Chile, Tonga, Mexico

B: Great Britain, Canada, Uganda, China

C: Spain, Hong Kong China, Papua New Guinea, Brazil

Blitzboks schedule:

Friday: v Mexico, 5.32pm

Saturday: v Tonga, 2.32pm; v Chile, 7.32pm