Blitzboks ready for next challenge

Coach Neil Powell believes the Blitzboks will be even better prepared for the next two legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Wellington and Sydney.

After winning the inaugural Cape Town Sevens last December, the team enjoyed a festive season break before regrouping again last week in Stellenbosch.

With the squad more settled now, Powell said they were able to get stuck straight into their work.

‘Last year, in the buildup to Dubai and Cape Town, we spent a lot of time on the basics of our playing structure because we had a lot more 15s players with us. This time around, we could go straight into preparation of our game plan, which I think is a big plus.’

Cheslin Kolbe, Juan de Jongh and Ryno Benjamin are the three non-contracted players currently training with the squad, all of whom were instrumental in the team winning their third consecutive home title in Cape Town.

Powell said he expected the trio to play even better Down Under, with Wellington hosting the third leg of the World Series on 30 and 31 January, and the inaugural Sydney tournament taking place a week later.

‘I am very happy that we have them available for the first four tournaments of the World Series. They were impressive in Dubai and Cape Town and I know they will improve even more because of the amount of time spent with the rest of the squad.’

Powell is set to announce the 12-man squad for Wellington and Sydney in Stellenbosch on Wednesday.

Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis