Blitzboks adjust Olympic planning

Blitzboks coach Neil Powell says the team's earlier departure for the Olympic Games could work in their favour.

The Springbok Sevens squad left Cape Town on Wednesday morning to join up with the rest of Team SA in Rio.

Rugby will make its long awaited return to the Olympics from 9-11 August, with the Blitzboks facing Spain, France and Australia in Pool B.

While the Blitzboks will arrive a few days earlier than originally planned, Powell is not too worried.

'We always like to tick all the boxes before we leave home, but with our earlier departure we must adjust a bit of planning and will have to work hard once we are in Rio. We are in control of things on the field, though, and that is where the focus is.

'Perhaps leaving earlier is a blessing in disguise as the wet weather and muddy fields here made the preparations a bit more difficult. We will now have enough time to acclimatise and to get used to the local conditions.'

For Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown, the long wait is finally over.

'It has suddenly become very real. We are at the airport now and everybody is wearing their Team South Africa tracksuits. I realised this morning that most of the things we have done in the last couple of years was for this, and that it is very exciting for me and the rest of the guys. It will be awesome to join up with the rest of our Olympic team and play a small part in our SA Olympic effort. We hope to make everyone proud.'

Blitzboks Olympic fixtures (SA times):

Tuesday, 9 August:
vs Spain (16:30)
vs France (21:30)

Wednesday, 10 August
vs Australia (16:30)
Start of playoffs (21:00)

Blitzboks squad – Kyle Brown (c), Tim Agaba, Philip Snyman, Werner Kok, Dylan Sage, Kwagga Smith, Rosco Speckman, Cheslin Kolbe, Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld, Juan de Jongh, Seabelo Senatla.
Travelling reserves: Chris Dry, Francois Hougaard.

SA Rugby magazine's Olympic preview issue

Post by

Simon Borchardt