The Springbok Sevens squad departs for Wellington tomorrow with the knowledge that a strong showing is needed in New Zealand (NZI Sevens) and the USA (Vegas Sevens) if they want to catch the front runners in the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The South Africans, Series champions two season ago, are currently in fifth place after winning the Plate final in Dubai and George in December last year.
Paul Treu (pictured above), the Springbok Sevens coach, described Wellington as the toughest assignment on the World Series calendar and said while he is happy with the progress of his young team they will have to play much better than in Dubai and George.
“We have worked extremely hard on certain areas of our game plan since we got together after the festive break. The young players are improving all the time and I am also pleased that Renfred Dazel is now fully fit and in the mix again.
“Wellington will be a huge experience for the young players. It’s the toughest assignment of the World Series because of the fantastic New Zealand home support and the encouragement the fans give to the likes of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga,” said Treu.
Earlier this week the SA Sevens coach made four changes to his squad who played in opening two tournaments last December. Former SA Schools star Paul Jordaan replaces Mark Richards while playmaker Renfred Dazel steps in for the injured Cecil Afrika.
The two other changes see Chris Dry and Lubabalo Mtembu coming into the squad in place of Jacques Engelbrecht and Sibusiso Sithole (knee injury).
South Africa’s Pool D opponents in Wellington next Friday are the formidable Fiji, France and Canada.
The team leaves tomorrow at 12h55 from the Cape Town International Airport.
Newby Paul Jordaan pictured at the Canterbury SA kitting-out session this week
The Springbok Sevens squad to Wellington and Las Vegas:
Boom Prinsloo, Kyle Brown (captain), Frankie Horne, Chris Dry, Lubabalo Mtembu, Paul Delport, Branco du Preez, Renfred Dazel, Pieter Engelbrecht, Bernado Botha, Steven Hunt, Paul Jordaan.