Here we go again, mense! The 2009/2010 International Rugby Board’s (IRB) Sevens World Series kicks off in Dubai a little more than a week from now.
As you are reading this, the BlitzBokke will be firmly tucked into their hotel in the desert city with more than a week to prepare for their title defence. Have a good look at the Boys during their photo-shoot (see our Flickr album); when they return after Dubai, you’ll probably see a much more tanned outfit after their week in the Arab sun!
I don’t know if it’s a bad omen, but the Team will be looked after by a new Liaison Officer (LO) this time around, after the long-serving Kim Massouras defected to the English Sevens side! Jokes aside, cheers for looking after the Boys for the last six years Kim!
Busy Bee. Kim Massouras on the Team Bus in Dubai (Pic: Kim Massouras)
Meanwhile, coach Paul Treu recently confirmed the names of 16 contracted Springbok Sevens players for the new season and at the same time also named the South African squad for the IRB Sevens World Series opening tournaments in Dubai and George early in December.
JW Jonker, Shaun Venter, Chris Dry and Jonathan Adendorf all showed form during the squad’s pre-season matches and were rewarded with first-time contracts.
Cecil Afrika has recovered fully from the injuries which prevented him from playing a part in last season’s Series-success, while MJ Mentz makes a welcome return to the squad after a year’s club rugby in Italy.
The rest of the squad, to be captained by scrumhalf Paul Delport, are all members of the victorious 2008/09 team which won three tournament titles overall.
Meanwhile, Jonker and Afrika were also included in the team that will defend its tournament titles at the Emirates Airline sponsored Dubai and George events.
SA Rugby contracted group for the new season is (World Series tournaments):
Mpho Mbiyozo (23) Chase Minnaar (3) Frankie Horne (16) Cecil Afrika (0) Neil Powell (23) Kyle Brown (8) Renfred Dazel (23) Ryno Benjamin (18) Paul Delport (10 – Captain) Mzwandile Stick (31) Marius Schoeman (39) MJ Mentz (10) JW Jonker (0) Shaun Venter (0) Chris Dry (0) Jonathan Adendorf (0)
Shortly after announcing the names of his charges, coach Paul Treu tasked them to model their exciting new playing strip at the Ysterplaat Air Force Base near Cape Town. Tank Lanning, in his blog on Sport24, urged the Boys to smile more on their promotional pictures. Eish, Tank… they are supposed to look WOES!
(Pic: Gallo Images)