Werner Kok and Warrick Gelant have been selected in the SA Sevens Academy team to play at the Rome Sevens next week.
Kok is set to return to the playing field for the first time since December when he sustained a serious knee injury, while Gelant has fully recovered after breaking his jaw against the Sunwolves in March.
The pair, along with fellow Blitzboks Frankie Horne, Stephan Dippenaar, Branco du Preez, Sandile Ncgobo and Siviwe Soyizwapi have all been selected by coach Marius Schoeman to present them with an opportunity to push for inclusion in the 12-man Olympic squad.
Schoeman also named newcomers Luke van der Smit, Donovan du Randt and Ryan Oosthuizen in the side.
'The Roma Sevens tournament is of significant importance to us this year. Not only will it give the likes of Werner, Warrick and Frankie an opportunity to go out and play and show they are contenders for Team SA’s rugby sevens squad, it will also be an important chance for the younger guys to stake a claim for the Blitzboks contracted squad. A number of players will move on after the Olympics, so there are opportunities to be taken,' said Schoeman.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell will travel with the Academy side to Rome to monitor the players.
SA Sevens Academy squad – Frankie Horne, Sandile Ngcobo (c), Luke van der Smit, Ryan Oosthuizen, Stephan Dippenaar, Branco du Preez, Donovan du Randt, Lungelo Gosa, Warrick Gelant, Dewald Human, Werner Kok, Siviwe Soyizwapi.
Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images