Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell has announced an unchanged 12-man squad for the Cape Town Sevens tournament this weekend.
The Blitzboks are looking to defend the title they won in last year’s inaugural Cape Town event, as well as a fourth consecutive title on home soil.
The 12 players that were crowned champions at the Dubai Sevens last Saturday, have all been retained for the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens series. Together they boast a combined total of 375 tournament caps, making the Blitzboks squad the most experienced amongst the 16 contenders for the title this weekend.
Siviwe Soyizwapi has been named as the reserve player that will take up duty in case of injury to the original 12-man squad during the tournament.
'There were niggles from Dubai, but those were expected as the guys have not played for a couple of months. Luckily for us, we came back from Dubai without any serious injuries and lots of belief in our systems,' said Powell.
Powell's side was drawn in Pool A with Russia, USA and Australia, who the coach believes are all capable of beating the Blitzboks.
'We need to be sharp on Saturday, as it is a dangerous pool, with all three teams capable of beating a more favourite team. The fact that we play at home will lift the players, no doubt, but we cannot just rock up and expect the crowd to motivate us and win the games for us with their support. We need to deliver and get them in the game,' he said.
Newly appointed captain, Philip Snyman admitted that expectations at home are always huge.
'We realise our fans are looking at us to deliver the goods and we want nothing else. We only have this great opportunity to play at home once every year and are determined to give it our best shot. We will not leave anything out there.'
The Springbok Sevens – Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Dylan Sage, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Ruhan Nel, Seabelo Senatla, Siviwe Soyizwapi (non-playing reserve).
Photo: World Rugby