Springbok Sevens mentor Paul Treu was this week forced to call back into his squad the veteran and former captain Neil Powell.
Powell (pictured below) whose career has since seen him move into coaching, recently took the South African Universities Sevens Team to Morocco. He will, however, don his playing boots for the struggling Blitzbokke at this weekend’s Marriott London Sevens, the final tournament of the 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series.
“Neil will give us some extra options because he is very versatile, but I mainly want to use him as back-up hooker. We needed to fill that position after Dippenaar’s forced return to South Africa. He is a good leader and very good communicator, so in that respect Neil will be a good boost for us,” said Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach.
Powell last played at the Scotland event held at Edinburgh in 2011 and he is now due to play in his 34th World Series tournament at the Marriott London Sevens. He will be back-up hooker for Kyle Brown, the team captain who has been cleared to play following an ankle niggle which prevent him from playing on the last day in Glasgow.
Injury woes continue
Meanwhile, injured Springbok Sevens players Okkie Kruger and Stephan Dippenaar have returned home from Britain.
Kruger (hamstring) and Dippenaar (ankle) are the latest casualties in the injury-hit Springbok Sevens team who are currently preparing in London for the Twickenham event this coming weekend.
The South Africans, who lost to Samoa in the Plate semi-final at the Glasgow Sevens on Sunday, have lost several stalwarts such as Cecil Afrika, Mark Richards, Paul Delport and Boom Prinsloo because of injury.
Their performance at the Glasgow7s has seen them surrender their third place on the log to England. Glasgow Cup champions New Zealand heads the Series standing (150 points) followed by Fiji (139 points). England is third (123 points) with South Africa (115 points) and Samoa (114 points) in 4th and 5th position respectively.