The International Rugby Board had the following to say about the prospects of Springbok Sevens legend Fabian Juries’ return to the Sevens World Series, albeit for only the final two tournaments of the 2009/2010 season:
Juries return boosts SA Sevens preparations
South Africa’s preparations for the final two legs of the 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series in London and Edinburgh at the end of the month have been boosted by the return of star Fabian Juries.
Juries joined up with the Springbok Sevens team at their training camp in Stellenbosch and although the finalised squad will not be announced until next week, he is available for selection for the events at Twickenham on 22-23 May and Murrayfield the week after.
If Juries is picked in the 12-man squad by coach Paul Treu it will be a timely boost for a side who have failed to reach the heights of last season when they were crowned IRB Sevens World Series champions for the first time.
Treu has not only seen a number of players graduate to Super 14 rugby, but has also been hit with injuries to key players this season with Renfred Dazel, Paul Delport and Mzwandile Stick missing large parts, if not all, of the season.
In their absence the Springboks have not reached a Cup semi final all season, and have won just one of the six Plate finals they have competed in.
Several youngsters have, however, performed in their absence including Sampie Mastriet and Branco du Preez, who have both been called up to the South Africa Under 20 team for the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina and will miss the last two legs.
Juries made the last of his 42 tournament appearances at Murrayfield in 2008, but brings with him a wealth of experience as the third highest try-scorer of all time in the IRB Sevens World Series with 173 tries, behind Santiago Gomez Cora (227) and Ben Gollings (198).
“He’s adding a lot of experience and I’m pleased that he’s able to help out because there is still some doubt over the match fitness of Renfred Dazel and Paul Delport,” said Treu.”Fabba will obviously return to Western Province if they need him, but I’m hoping that he would be able to stay with us.”
South Africa will face Fiji, Canada and France in the pool stages at Twickenham with New Zealand, Italy and Russia their opponents in Scotland where they were crowned 2008/09 World Series champions last year.
Fiji have had a slight hoodoo over South Africa this year, beating them five times in their six meetings and the Springbok Sevens have not beaten New Zealand in three attempts, although they have won all of their matches against their other pool opponents.
South Africa currently lie sixth in the overall standings, 20 points behind England, and just two points ahead of Kenya.