Durbanite Brian Shabangu will lead an exciting SA Sevens Emerging rugby team to Nairobi in Kenya.
The team leaves on Thursday where they will face some top-class international opposition in the annual Safaricom Kenya Sevens tournament from 4 – 6 November.
Samoa, Auckland, Bristol, False Bay RFC (SA club team) and Spain are some of the strong line-ups that will compete alongside the hosts and the South Africans at this popular international Sevens event where the organisers are expecting 15 000 spectators.
Last year the South Africans lost 10-7 in extra-time time against the tournament hosts and the team is therefore highly motivated to land a third tournament win, to add to their back-to-back titles of 2006-2007.
Chase Minnaar, Frankie Horne, Cecil Afrika and Bernado Botha are some of the current Springbok Sevens players who have all previously represented the Emerging Sevens team in Kenya.
Some of the former Sevens players who also first donned the Emerging jersey include Norman Nelson, Mzwandile Stick, Jacques Engelbrecht and Mpho Mbiyozo.
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Coach Arthur Janson said he was looking forward to the tournament: “I have no doubt that some of the current crop of players who will be in action in Kenya this coming weekend will definitely break into the Springbok Sevens team. They have lots to play for as well as possible inclusion in the Springbok Sevens training programme.”
The team, who is currently preparing at Stellenbosch, leaves for Nairobi on Thursday and will arrive back in the country next Monday.
The participating teams in the Safaricom Kenya Sevens are:
Kenya, Auckland, Bellmont Shore, Bristol, SA Emerging, False Bay RFC, Grenoble, Les Bleu, Namibia, Samoa, Samurai, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The SA Sevens Emerging team is:
Willie le Roux (Boland), Samora Lwazi Fihlani (Border), Mlindazwe Nqoro, Marlon Lewis (Eastern Province), Carlyle Hendricks (Falcons), Jamba Ulengo (Free State), Willie Roux (Boland), Simphiwe Brian Shabangu (KwaZulu-Natal, captain), Vainon Willis (Leopards), Deon Scholtz, Jonathan Adendorf, Willem Bouwer (Mpumalanga), Ruan Mostert (Western Province).