7DAYS is the first free, tabloid-sized English language newspaper for the Middle East.
As the Dubai Sevens is the first tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series and has just been voted by the local residents as the best sports tournament in the city, Sevens rugby gets quite a bit of coverage in that newspaper.
Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu wrote a very enlightening article in the latest issue in which he shares his thoughts:
On (former BlitzBok) Gio Aplon’s rise to 15′s fame
I didn’t get to see the Springboks game against Ireland on Saturday but it was amazing for one of our former sevens guys, Gio Aplon, to get on the scoresheet.
We want to see players progressing to the next level, playing for the Boks, and to see Gio put in some world-class performances at 15s makes management and the rest of the players proud. For us, that’s ultimately what it’s about.
It just shows that any player who works hard and has the potential and ability can go all the way. It’s up to the players to decide what they do with the opportunities that are presented to them and Gio went out, worked hard and hopefully he’ll make it for the World Cup next year.
We are ready for Dubai, writes Paul Treu in 7DAYS (The coach with Sammy Horne Junior)
On Lionel Mapoe’s return to Sevens
Lionel Mapoe, though, the Lions winger, will be one to watch out for. There was a huge contract battle between the Cheetahs and Sharks for his services, which made him unavailable for the current Bok tour of the UK, but you could see him playing at the World Cup.
And if he can prove his fitness over the next two weeks, he’ll be coming with us to Dubai and George.
On losing their SCC International 7s title
We’ve just come back from the Singapore Sevens and even though we lost in the final it was a successful trip – definitely one of the toughest tournaments we’ve ever played in over there.
We returned home as champions the past three times, but this year the Penguins played really well in the final.
That game came so close to IRB sevens standards, because we had to score a try and convert it to take it into extra time. We had so many opportunities to put the game to bed but we just couldn’t convert them into points and ended up losing 19-14.
To be honest, though, I don’t mind. We said to the guys when we went there that winning the tournament for the fourth time in a row was not going to do us any favours.
Obviously, to win the games is always nice but we wanted to expose them to international sevens away from home and we wanted to see which of those players could actually walk the walk, go forward and be part of future squads.
I think we’ve achieved that goal. Some of the guys didn’t step up and show their potential, so it was definitely a worthwhile trip.
Stay out of the limelight Peter De Villiers, says Treu
On making the step-up to 15′s rugby: as coach and for the players
You won’t see many sevens guys anymore making the step up to the 15s national side as quick as they have been. Sevens has become so specialised that you need time with the players. It’s tough to get access to players because of Super 14 commitments, so I have to decide whether I’m going to take players for just one or two tournaments or the players that are going to be fully available and who’d like to make sevens a career.
These guys will start signing long-term sevens contracts so the conversion to 15s will take longer.
As for me coaching the Springboks, it’s something I’m going to keep in mind. I’m going to be involved with the sevens for the next couple of years and all my efforts and energy will go into that.
With sevens part of the Olympics in 2016, it’s not every coach that gets the opportunity to win a goal medal for his country in rugby – that’s a big goal for any sevens coach out there and even some of the 15s coaches. If my bosses still want me at that stage we’ll have to wait and see, but as of where I am now I enjoy what I’m doing, and I’d like to keep doing it for as long as I can.
Plus, after the battering Peter de Villiers took in the press over the summer, it’s definitely best to stay out of the limelight!
On the way forward
We’re getting together today for medicals then we’re gearing up for some practice games against the universities in Cape Town.
I’ve decided on our training squad and I’m hoping some guys can push for a starting place in Dubai. Mark Richards is someone we’d like to keep in the system. Jacques Engelbrecht – he’s another guy we’d like to give a go – and also Pieter Engelbrecht (not related to Jacques!) we can hopefully give a chance to.
But first, I’ve got the task of getting them all up to speed with the game plans!
The Springbok Sevens training squad:
Chase Minnaar, Paul Delport, Kyle Brown, Cecil Africa, Frankie Horne, Branco du Preez, Chris Dry, Steven Hunt, Neil Powell, Renfred Dazel, Boom Prinsloo, MJ Mentz, Lubabalo Mtembu, Bernardo Botha, Jacques Engelbrecht, Sibusiso Sithole, Richard Prinsloo, Hoffman Maritz, Shane Spring, Logan Basson, Lional Mapoe, Mark Richards, Howard Noble, Pieter Engelbrecht, AJ Coertzen.
You can read the full article in 7DAYS