It’s time to start getting excited about the World Rugby 7s series again.
Have you seen the Bok squad?! It’s very strong, in my opinion the strongest and most competitive we have ever had. Just a look at the Sevens ACADEMY squad shows the depth in the SA’s 7s rugby locker – Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok, Stedman Gans, Branco du Preez, Angelo Davids, Impi Visser – enough talent there to be seriously competitive in the main event.
Admittedly a few of the above would be starters in the Blitzbok squad but the point is clear to see for all … the 2019/20 season promises to be a big one for SA. Certainly the lure of the Tokyo Olympics has seen former stars who have had a crack at the XVs game like Seabelo Senatla, Dylan Sage, Ruhan Nel and Rosko Specman come back into the reckoning.
Coach Neil Powell will have his work cut out selecting a squad for the aforementioned Olympics – just who would you leave out? There is plenty of time to figure that out and of course there will be injuries along the way.
So first, let’s focus on the opening leg of the Sevens series which kicks off in Dubai this weekend.
South Africa face England, Spain and Kenya in Pool D of the tournament, while HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions Fiji will face France, Argentina and Japan in pool A. In pool B USA, Australia, Scotland and newcomers Ireland will battle it out. New Zealand, Samoa, Canada and Wales are in pool C.
“We had a poor start in Dubai last year and it took us a while to recover from that,” said Powell.
“We can’t promise anything this time around, but I am pretty sure the effort will be there and if that is the case, we will be very competitive.”
Check out the squad(s) and you will see what I am talking about:
- Chris Dry (68 tournaments, 342 matches; 465 points, 93 tries)
- Ryan Oosthuizen (17 tournaments,83 matches; 85 points, 17 tries)
- Dylan Sage (24 tournaments, 134 matches; 155 points, 31 tries)
- Zain Davids (18 tournaments, 88 matches; 60 points, 12 tries)
- JC Pretorius (five tournaments, 27 matches; 55 points; 11 tries)
- Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain; 28 tournaments, 145 matches; 445 points, 89 tries)
- Selvyn Davids (14 tournaments, 69 matches; 300 points; 31 tries, 71 conversions, 1 penalty)
- Rosko Specman (28 tournaments, 150 matches; 380 points; 70 tries, 15 conversions)
- Justin Geduld (46 tournaments, 239 matches; 951 points;104 tries, 214 conversions, 1 penalty)
- Kurt-Lee Arendse (four tournaments, 16 matches; 45 points, nine tries)
- Seabelo Senatla (39 tournaments, 203 matches; 1120 points, 224 tries)
- Ruhan Nel (28 tournaments, 147 matches; 247 points; 49 tries, 1 conversion)
- Christi Grobbelaar (on debut)
And the Academy squad:
- Hacjivah Dayimani
- James Murphy
- Impi Visser
- Angelo Davids
- Werner Kok
- Branco du Preez
- Dewald Human
- Malcolm Jaer
- Darren Adonis
- Cecil Afrika
- Mfundo Ndhlovu
- Stedman Gans (c)