After a series of intense preparatory tournaments in Rustenburg where they suffered even more injuries to add to an already depleted side, the Springboks Sevens side departed for Dubai on Sunday 3 October.
The team was still in transit when Britain’s Prince Charles declared the Commonwealth Games open during an impressive Opening Ceremony in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Camilla had her own way of aclimatising to the eye-candy weather in India (Pic: Getty Images)
The BlitzBokke arrived in Dubai on Monday 4 October.
The Springbok management team had decided to make Dubai their pre-Games base in order to aclimatise ahead of what promises to be really hot and humid conditions in India. During their stay in the desert, the team will be playing some matches against local Arabian gulf sides in order to get as close to being match-ready in the prevailing weather conditions.
The BlitzBokke will board a 3-hour flight to Delhi on Friday (8 October) where they will join the rest of Team South Africa in the Athletes Village.
Coach Paul Treu wrote on his online diary this week that he was surprised to find Commonwealth Games defending Champions New Zealand as well as reigning Sevens World Champions Wales also opting to use Dubai as the pre-Games base.
England prepares in Delhi
This comes in stark contrast to Ben Ryan’s England side who is already firmly settled in the Athletes Village in India.
“We’re into our second day in the Village here and the experience has been pretty awesome so far. There’s a great atmosphere, the food’s brilliant and things are being run pretty well.” wrote England Sevens legend Ben Gollings on his Blog on UR7s.
The Canadian Sevens team is also in Delhi and played a semi-contact training game against England on Monday.
Just how the teams’ choices for preparation in the run-up to the Games will impact on their performance come next week, remains to be seen.
The Sevens Tournament of the Commonwealth Games takes place next week 11-12 October (Monday-Tuesday).