Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has made two changes to the BlitzBokke team who will contest the next two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series, the Australian Sevens in Adelaide and the biggest Sevens on the circuit, the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens.
South Africa will defend its Adelaide title in Australia from 19- 21 March, while they will attempt to lift the Hong Kong crown for the first time a week later in the Special Administrative Region of China (SAR).
He drafted Sampie Mastriet (Vodacom Blue Bulls) and Chris Dry (Vodacom Western Province) into the squad in place of veteran Marius Schoeman and Vodacom Cheetahs U21 rookie Phillip van der Walt.
The Springbok Sevens won the Plate Final in the Las Vegas Sevens during their last outing and will be hoping to use that improved performance to string together much better results for the remainder of the World Series season.
South Africa is the defending World Series champions but finds themselves in seventh place after losing three times to Fiji in successive Cup quarterfinals.
The Springbok Sevens have won the previous two tournaments in Adelaide and Treu will be hoping for another good showing from his young team.
“The surface in Adelaide is suiting our style of play and we have done very well there the past three seasons. However, it will not be easy going because New Zealand will be determined to bounce back following their disappointment in Wellington and Las Vegas, while Fiji, Samoa and England are all in very good form at the moment,”said Treu.
The team leaves for Australia on Saturday, 13 March from Cape Town International Airport via Johannesburg.
The Springbok Sevens team to Adelaide and Hong Kong is (SARU contracted unless stated otherwise):
Branco du Preez (Vodacom Blue Bulls),
Hoffman Maritz (Vodacom Free State Cheetahs),
Sampie Mastriet (Vodacom Blue Bulls) and
Steven Hunt (Vodacom Western Province).