Zain Davids and Kurt-Lee Arendse have been called up to the Springbok Sevens team to do duty in the Vancouver Sevens this weekend.
Davids, who has played in 17 tournaments for the Blitzboks, will replace the injured Ryan Oosthuizen in the forwards, while the uncapped Arendse joins the squad due to an injury to Mfundo Ndhlovu.
Arendse, meanwhile, will be part of a Blitzboks squad for the first time. The 22-year-old excelled for the Academy in tournaments in Dubai and South America recently, and also played for UWC in the opening round of the Varsity Cup.
Last week Kurt-Lee Arendse was doing things like this for the SA Rugby Sevens Academy (against French Academy). Today, he is packing his bags to join the #Blitzboks. #BestofUs @CastleFreeSA @FNBSA @ASICS_ZA pic.twitter.com/l36g3stlNf
— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) March 4, 2019
The Blitzboks sit in fifth position on the overall World Rugby Sevens Series table after another disappointing finish in Las Vegas, where they were knocked out by Fiji in the fifth-place semi-final. The USA, who won the tournament on their home ground to Samoa 27-0 in the final, currently top the standings.
Blitzbok coach Neil Powell said the result against Fiji was frustrating, but he did not fault the effort of the players for their efforts.
‘They gave it all out there and I am pleased with the effort,’ Powell said. ‘We made some errors on attack, but I told the guys before the match that we should finish it knowing we executed and gave our all.
‘It was a bit frustrating that we could not quite get the first one right. Our decision-making was lacking a bit in the final minutes.’
Powell added that his young squad will benefit from the experience they gained in the States.
‘The only way for them to become better is to play and learn and from that perspective, they got some good game time this weekend.’
The Blitzboks are drawn with the USA, Wales and Chile in Pool A.
Blitzboks squad – Zain Davids, Philip Snyman, Impi Visser, Sako Makata, Werner Kok, JC Pretorius, Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids, Justin Geduld, Stedman Gans, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Muller du Plessis, Kurt-Lee Arendse (reserve).
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix