The Springbok Sevens rugby team has departed for Australia for the start of the HSBC Sevens World Series. The season officially kicks off on 25-26 November with the Gold Coast Sevens.
A tough opening stanza awaits the international Sevens teams as all of them will be in action in three tournaments before the end of the year, each to be staged on a different continent and on three consecutive weeks.
Despite this daunting task, Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu said his team was looking forward to get the season underway.
“Although we only managed to get the full squad together recently, most of the guys have been in training for a while now while the rest played Absa Currie Cup rugby. The players trained hard at Stellenbosch once we all got together and the guys are just looking forward to get onto the field and get the season underway at the Gold Coast,” explained the coach before he boarded the flight to Australia via Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Cecil stays in the mix
Treu has selected a very good, balanced squad of fourteen players for the first three rounds and he also included the current SARU and IRB Sevens Player of the Year, Cecil Afrika. The playmaker was the leading points and try scorer last season and he will most likely make his return to action in Dubai only, depending on how his facial injury responds to treatment.
Welcome to the BlitzBokke, Cornal
Treu also confirmed that negotiations with Cornal Hendricks of the Regent Boland Cavaliers were successful and now concluded and that the player will join his Springbok Sevens team on a two year contract, further bolstering his contracted group of players. Hendricks is not part of the current travelling party.
Team sponsor ABSA held a brief function for the squad at the OR Tambo International Airport where they conveyed their best wishes to Kyle Brown (captain, pictured below by Canterbury SA) and his team for the upcoming international Sevens season.
The Springbok Sevens travelling squad for the first three rounds of the new HSBC Sevens World Series:
1. Chris Dry 2. Kyle Brown (captain) 3. Frankie Horne 4. Boom Prinsloo 5. Chase Minnaar 6. Paul Delport 7. Renfred Dazel 8. Mark Richards 9. Steven Hunt 10. Bernado Botha 11. Robert Ebersohn 12. William Small-Smith 13. Cecil Afrika 14. Branco du Preez
Treu will announce his final 12-member team for the Gold Coast Sevens on Tuesday.
Here are some images of the Blitzbokke’s departure from Cape Town International, courtesy of Tag Rugby on FaceBook: