Injuries to many of the regular Blitzbokke as well as Baby Boks duties have opened up opportunities for some exciting young players to stake a claim ahead of the tour to the United Kingdom.
Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has added five players to his training group in preparation for the last two tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Glasgow and London, while two more new faces will join his group next Monday.
Okkie Kruger (Tukkies, loose foward), Robbie van Schalkwyk (Shimlas, utility back), Jamba Ulengo (Shimlas, left wing), Alec Mhlanga (CUT, right wing) and Damian de Allende (UCT, right wing) were all added to the injury-hit SA Sevens squad.
Fullback Clayton Blommetjies (pictured below by Rugby15.co.za) who starred for Tukkies in their Varsity Cup final victory over Maties on Monday night in Pretoria, as well as DHL Western Province flanker Reuben Johannes will join the training group next Monday.
Baby Boks duty
William Small-Smith and Tshotsho Mbovane are both unavailable because of SA Under-20 commitments. The Junior Boks assembled in Cape Town on Tuesday for a two-week training camp and a series of matches against the Argentine Pumitas in Stellenbosch.
As we reported earlier, IRB Sevens Player of the Year Cecil Afrika will miss the UK trip after he was ruled out for ten weeks following his knee injury in Hong Kong.
Paul Delport (knee), Boom Prinsloo and Frankie Horne (both head injuries) will meanwhile all undergo scans on Thursday to further determine the seriousness of their knocks sustained in Japan.
Treu said he was disappointed to lose star playmaker Afrika, but he is also looking forward to work with the newcomers.
“They all played exceptionally well in the Varsity Cup and the Vodacom Cup and deserve their chances. We have a number of injury concerns so it makes sense for us to include these promising players,” said Treu.
The Blitzbokke depart on 29 April for the United Kingdom and will announce their travelling party on 24 April. South Africa is currently third on the World Series log behind New Zealand and Fiji.
For all the latest from the HSBC Sevens World Series and the Springbok Sevens Team, add @BlitzBokke on Twitter. You can also LIKE our FaceBook Page.