The luscious green desert pitch of Dubai isn’t the happy hunting ground that it used to be for BlitzBokke veteran Marius Schoeman. SA Rugby last night announced that Schoeman has had to withdraw from the SA Sevens side due to a calf injury. The BlitzBokke start their title defence in Dubai on Friday.
Now you see him, now you don’t
The 31 year-old player, known as “Shoes” to his friends, was forced off the pitch when he injured his right wrist during the last Dubai Sevens and also sat out the George Sevens a week later in December 2008.
Eina! Physio Hugh Everson escorts Shoes off the Dubai pitch.
Schoeman’s bad (Dubai) fortunes continued when he also attended the Sevens Rugby World Cup in the desert city, this time as a spectator.
He was flown in for the final tournament of the 2008/2009 IRB Sevens World Series in Edinburgh as cover for the Freestate speedster Robert Ebersohn who was called up for national duty in Japan. South Africa was crowned as Series Champions after this tournament and Schoeman announced his retirement riding the crest of a long and illustrious career.
Thankfully he has since had a rethink and was included as part of coach Paul Treu’s plans for the 2009/2010 season. The BlitzBokke arrived in Dubai last week to prepare for this weekend’s tournament. Sadly, Marius Schoeman sustained the injury during a warm up session at the Arabian Ranches. Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 winger Deon Helberg has been called up as his replacement.
Helberg was a member of the SA Vipers team who played over the weekend in Sri Lanka and recently starred for the SA Students in Singapore.
The Springbok Sevens kick off the defence of their IRB Sevens World Series title against Sevens World Cup winners Wales on Friday morning.