Last year, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu set in motion one of his key priorities for the Olympic Games in 2016 when he contracted several schoolboys. Sevens Rugby, along with golf will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
Over the next three weeks a dream will come true for one of the five former-schoolboys when he makes his international Sevens debut in New Zealand. The third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series will be played in Wellington, New Zealand on February 4-5 and this will be followed by the Las Vegas event a week later.
Paul Jordaan at the Canterbury kitting-out session (Pic: Canterbury SA)
Former SA Schools star Paul Jordaan is set to make his Springbok Sevens debut after he was selected in place of Mark Richards. In another of four changes to the squad, Renfred Dazel replaces 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).
Paul Treu with Craig Barry, William Small-Smith and Tshotsho Mbovane.
Afrika, the team’s main attacking weapon, was in great form during the first two tournaments in Dubai and George. He suffered a broken jaw during the Plate semi-final clash against Wales at Outeniqua Park and will not be fit for Wellington and Las Vegas.
Afrika and Sithole should return to full fitness in time for the Hong Kong Sevens in March.
Despite his injury, Afrika is currently the leading World Series point scorer. He has scored an impressive 127 points to date and is also the leading try scorer with 17.
Treu will put his team though their training paces from 10am tomorrow at the Athlone Stadium, in what will be a first visit for the team to this historic Cape Flats sports venue (pictured below).
The team leaves for Wellington on Friday and their departure time from the Cape Town International Airport is 12h55.
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.
Meanwhile, sponsors Canterbury SA hosted the Boys this week during their kitting-out session ahead of the trip to New Zealand. The following pictures are courtesy of Canterbury SA on faceBook: