Rosko Specman’s potential return to sevens is one of several exciting prospects on the horizon to help revive the fortunes of the Blitzboks next season.
In a wide-ranging interview with BokSquad, SA Rugby sevens high-performance manager Marius Schoeman has unveiled plans for a possible comeback of the dynamic playmaker, who quit the shorter format in 2021 for a full tilt at a career in 15s.
‘Speckmagic’ has featured for the Vodacom Bulls, Stormers, Free State Cheetahs and Griquas, and would inject a much-needed dose of energy into the national sevens squad.
“We have signed Cheetahs centre David Brits, who doesn’t shy away from contact and will give us the physical presence we lost when Ruhan Nel and Dylan Sage left us,” Schoeman told BokSquad.
“We have an agreement with Western Province to make use of utility back Tristan Leyds, and have made Rosko Specman, who is currently at Griquas, an offer to return to the sevens setup. He would bring massive energy to the team.
“We also have some great schoolboys joining the sevens setup at the end of the year, including Westville centre Siyabonga Ndlozi, Outeniqua flank Jeffwin Wesso and Durbanville utility back Jayden Nell.”
Amidst a disappointing 2022-23 season, a shining star emerged for the Blitzboks in the form of Ricardo Duarttee. The talented player captured the coveted Rookie of the Year award at the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Duarttee’s impact was undeniable, with an impressive debut season that saw him participate in 52 matches, scoring an astonishing 212 points. The 25-year-old’s contribution to the team’s performance cannot be overstated, and Schoeman expects the best is yet to come from ‘Tricky Ricky’.
“I’m really proud of Ricardo and so happy for him considering the journey he had to take to get that reward,” Schoeman said. “He grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
“However, he still has a lot of sevens development to do and will get even better as he gains experience, which is an exciting prospect. He will also benefit from working with a quality player like [flyhalf] Selwyn Davids when he returns from injury.
“In the first couple of tournaments this season, Ricardo had to play with flyhalves who are actually centres, which wasn’t easy.”
Photo: EPA/Ali Haider