Engelbrecht added to Blitzboks squad

Springbok centre JJ Engelbrecht has been added to the Blitzboks training group ahead of the Dubai and PE Sevens.

Following successful talks between Saru and several provincial unions, a number of Currie Cup players are to be released for Springbok Sevens training duty. Engelbrecht will be joined by Western Province flyer Cheslin Kolbe in Stellenbosch where Neil Powell's team are preparing for the next two legs of the Sevens World Series.

Three further Blue Bulls players have been added to the training group, with Jesse Kriel, Warrick Gelant and Duncan Matthews all given their first experience of the sevens set-up.

Sevens regulars Justin Geduld (Western Province), Kwagga Smith and Mark Richards (Golden Lions) will join up with the squad on Wednesday once they have completed their provincial commitments. Free State Cheetahs utility back Rayno Benjamin has been with the squad since last week already.

'Our training for the Gold Coast tournament was hampered slightly by niggling injuries and Currie Cup commitments in some cases,' said coach Neil Powell. 'But thanks to Rassie Erasmus we could secure the release of these additional players. Cheslin and Rayno know our structures and playing philosophy very well, while I am looking forward to working with the rest of the group.'

Regular captain, Kyle Brown, is continuing with his rehabilitation following a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Phillip Snyman has sustained a calf muscle injury during training yesterday. He is presently undergoing further investigation to determine the extent of the injury and will be treated accordingly.

Stephan Dippenaar has been ruled out of the next two tournaments following a hamstring injury sustained at the Gold Coast tournament. Powell will name his 12-man squad for Dubai and PE at the end of the month.

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images