The Springbok Sevens rugby team has put their injury woes behind them and plans to launch a serious challenge for the medals on offer at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, according to captain, Paul Delport.
The squad joined the rest of Team South Africa at the Games village on Friday afternoon after they completed a weeklong preparation camp in the desert city of Dubai.
Meanwhile, defending champions New Zealand as well as current World Champions Wales have also arrived in India after their respective preparatory camps in Dubai. Contenders England have been preparing in Delhi for almost a week.
Coach Paul Treu had to shuffle his playing resources considerably the past few weeks after injuries to several players interrupted his preparations for the Games. On Wednesday, veteran Marius Schoeman became the latest injury casualty when he suffered an eye injury during a training match in Dubai.
“All the injuries and disruptions are behind us” says skipper Paul Delport
Much like his coach, skipper Delport is looking forward with great anticipation to the Sevens competition of the Games which get underway on Monday, when South Africa open proceedings against Tonga.
Delport said the squad adjusted quickly to their surrounding in the athletes village and they are determine to add to Team South Africa’s growing medal tally.
“We are embracing the Games and it is an amazing experience for all the guys to be part of such a huge multi-national sports event. We had a good workout today and I was much more pleased with our effort this afternoon (Saturday) than our last session in Dubai.
“All the injuries and disruptions are behind us and we are now focused on making a good start against Tonga, who will be really tough opponents,” explained Delport.
Treu said the gold medal performances by the excellent SA swimmers and also hammer thrower Chris Harmse have inspired the Springbok Sevens.
The opener against Tonga (5.30am SA time, SS7) will be followed by two more matches on Monday – against hosts, India (8.30am, SS7), and Wales (1.30pm, SS5). The knock-out matches and finals are scheduled for Tuesday.
View the full playing schedule by clicking here