Blitzboks stalwarts Seabelo Senatla and Ruhan Nel have both been included in their squad for the Athlete Factory Sevens in Chester this weekend.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell recalled a number of players from his 2018 squad to make this trip. The Stormers duo are joined by Rosko Specman and Dylan Sage, who have both been playing for the Bulls this year.
Sage will lead the team for this tournament, as Siviwe Soyizwapi is not on this trip.
There is also a return to the team for Zain Davids, JC Pretorius and Justin Geduld. Davids underwent surgery to his shoulder after an injury sustained in Hong Kong in March, while Geduld went under the knife at the end of the 2018-19 World Series where South Africa were placed fourth.
Christi Grobbelaar and Selvyn Davids will join the team in England straight from Kenya, where they played in the Tusker Safari Sevens on the weekend.
Hacjivah Dayimani, who joined the Springbok Sevens squad last month, and Branco du Preez were not considered for selection due to injury.
England, France, Spain, USA, Ireland, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Jamaica and The Ramblin Jesters (a UK-based invitational team) will join the Blitzboks in this tournament, set to be the final warm-up for South Africa before the 2019-20 World Series kicks off in Dubai in December.
Powell said he was expecting the experienced players in the squad to help ease the early-season jitters, but also explained the wider objective of this trip.
‘We are very happy to have these guys back; their quality is well known, and they are also keen to lay down a marker,’ Powell said.
‘From a squad perspective, it is important that we find each other quickly. Some of the players have not played sevens in a while, but their learning curve is such that they will adapt quickly. We have tweaked our style of play in areas, so they need to adapt to that as well.’
Blitzboks squad for Chester Sevens:
Chris Dry, Christi Grobbelaar, Dylan Sage (c), Zain Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, JC Pretorius, Selvyn Davids, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Muller du Plessis.
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