Cecil Afrika will make his comeback from injury in a Blitzboks squad featuring four new faces in the Safari Sevens tournament in Kenya this weekend.
South Africa last played at the event in 2012 and returned as winners from the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
Cecil Afrika has been included in a squad that has experienced players in Selvyn Davids and James Murphy as well as Impi Visser and Angelo Davids. Afrika returns to play after undergoing an operation in June to repair a torn bicep.
The team will be led by Blitzboks captain Siviwe Soyizwapi.
There are four new players in the group. Divan Enslin, Andrew Kota, Darren Adonis and Shilton van Wyk will don national colours for the first time since they joined the Academy last month.
Enslin will hope to be the next player from Paarl Boys’ High since Rhyno Smith to become a Blitzbok, while Adonis is fresh from winning the Currie Cup with the Toyota Free State Cheetahs. Kota joined from the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Van Wyk from Boland.
Luwi Mngadi played in warm-up matches for the Academy against Uruguay, Ireland and the French Academy earlier this season before he completed a stint with the Leopards in the Currie Cup First Division.
In an interesting selection, Blitzbok speedster Angelo Davids has been included at hooker, as he made a successful, if not spectacular, start to his international sevens career on the wing earlier this year.
Springbok Sevens assistant coach Renfred Dazel, who will take the reins on this trip, said the Davids move is deliberate.
‘Angelo and coach Neil Powell discussed this move, and both are keen to see how it works out for us,’ said Dazel. ‘The whole idea with tournaments like these, is to try new things and see if it works. That is not only limited to trying new plays and structures, but also to players, like with Angelo in this case.
‘Obviously the hooker position in sevens does have its own intricacies, but Angelo is an intelligent sevens player and understands the game well. It will be interesting to see how he goes.’
Blitzboks squad for Safari Sevens:
Divan Enslin, Angelo Davids, Impi Visser, Luyanda Mngadi, James Murphy, Shilton van Wyk, Andrew Kota, Selvyn Davids, Darren Adonis, Cecil Afrika, Siviwe Soyizwapi (c), Stedman Gans.
Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images