Teams doing their planning for the upcoming HSBC Sevens World Series will have to dig a little deeper when they look at the BlitzBokke because half of the South African Sevens teams will be making their debut in the popular tournament.
Lubabalo Mtembu, Boom Prinsloo, Pieter Engelbrecht, Sibusiso Sithole, Bernado Botha and Mark Richards will all get a first taste of the exciting World Series action.
Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez and powerful forward Frankie Horne all return to international action after their respective injury lay-offs.
Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu retained seven players from the Commonwealth squad who won the bronze medal recently in Delhi.
A sage-looking Paul Treu at today’s launch (Pic: PaulTreuSevens on FaceBook)
The squad for the Emirates Airline sponsored tournaments in Dubai and George was unveiled during a media launch at Newlands on Wednesday afternoon.
Treu said he was pleased with the mixture of exciting young talent and experienced Sevens internationals.
“I think we have a good balance and the two competitive tournaments in Delhi and Singapore gave the youngsters a decent taste of what they can expect over the next eight months in the HSBC Sevens World Series.
“We have put the disappointment of last season behind us and are looking forward to the season. Last season, Samoa and Australia showed how far and fast the game have progressed and we need to step up and hit the same level of competitiveness as them,” explained Treu.
Meanwhile, Treu has continued his practice of retaining experience and talent when he named former playmaker Vuyo Zangqa is his assistant-coach. Zangqa (pictured below) was injured in an accident almost a year and a half ago and was forced to retire as a player.
The hugely experienced Marius Schoeman also stays in the Sevens mix as Manager of the SA Vipers side to Sri Lanka this weekend.
The squad leaves for Dubai on Friday at 6pm from the Cape Town International Airport.
The Springbok Sevens squad for Dubai and George is:
Lubabalo Mtembu, Boom Prinsloo, Frankie Horne, Pieter Engelbrecht, Sibusiso Sithole, Kyle Brown, Renfred Dazel, Bernardo Botha, Mark Richards, Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, MJ Mentz.
Management: Paul Treu (coach), Vuyo Zangqa (assistant-coach), Hugh Everson (physio), Alan Temple-Jones (biokineticist), Sebastian Prim (team manager).
Pictures below courtesy of PaulTreuSevens on FaceBook: