The uncapped Impi Visser has been named in the Blitzboks’ squad for the opening tournament of the 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.
Blitzboks coach Neil Powell has also recalled Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez and Muller du Plessis for the tournament on 30 November and 1 December.
Brown and Du Preez have returned to fitness after missing out on the Sevens World Cup last July, while Du Plessis returns to the squad after he last played for the Blitzboks in Singapore in April.
Philip Snyman will captain the side for a third season, while regulars Zain Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Werner Kok, Justin Geduld, Dewald Human and Siviwe Soyizwapi will all make the trip to Dubai.
Selvyn Davids will travel with the side as the official replacement player. Stedman Gans, Cecil Afrika and Heino Bezuidenhout were not considered due to injury.
‘I am pleased with the final selection, although it was not an easy one for me,’ said Powell. ‘A number of the guys outside of the squad were unlucky not to make the side, but it is good to have that depth. We have a solid core of experienced players and I am expecting them to show that in Dubai, a really tough tournament as you have no idea what to expect from your opponents.
‘Those outside the squad will play for the SA Rugby Sevens Academy side in Dubai. They will not only get valuable game time, but also an opportunity to stake their claim against international opponents – just look at Impi as an example.’
Experienced Blitzbok Chris Dry will also make a return to competitive rugby next week after being named in the Academy side to contest the International Invitational tournament at the Dubai Sevens.
Meanwhile, Marithy Pienaar will spearhead the Springbok Women’s Sevens’ challenge.
Blitzboks squad – Impi Visser, Philip Snyman (c), Ryan Oosthuizen, Zain Davids, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Muller du Plessis, Selvyn Davids (replacement players).
SA Rugby Sevens Academy team – Chris Dry, James Murphy, Sako Makata, JC Pretorius, Luyanda Mngidi, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Donovan du Randt, WJ Strydom, Angus van Niekerk, Ilunga Mukendi, Angelo Davids, Mfundo Ndhlovu.
Springbok Women’s Sevens team – Courtney Groener, Nokuthla Nene, Buhle Sonamzi, Sizo Solontsi, Zenay Jordaan, Voice Ndou, Eloise Webb, Claudine Marais, Nadine Roos, Mathrin Simmers, Ayanda Malinga, Marithy Pienaar (c).
Photo: SA Rugby