Werner Kok says the Blitzboks’ depth will be tested over the next month due to injuries and players joining their Super Rugby franchises.
Kwagga Smith (Lions), Seabelo Senatla (Stormers) and Tim Agaba (Bulls) are set to return to fifteens, having played in the first four tournaments of this season’s World Rugby Sevens Series.
Captain Philip Snyman and Ruhan Nel were ruled out of last weekend’s Hamilton Sevens due to injury, while Dylan Sage, Justin Geduld and Rosko Specman were injured during the tournament.
The Blitzboks went on to lose 24-17 to Fiji in the Cup final. However, they still lead the Sevens Series standings, eight points clear of second-placed New Zealand.
Kok admitted it won’t be easy for a depleted Blitzboks team to stay on top.
‘The next four weeks will be tough, some players are injured and we are losing some star players, so it will be a good challenge for our system and depth,’ said Kok, who was the only South African to be included in the Hamilton Sevens Dream Team.
‘I am very proud of my teammates as they make things like these possible,’ he added. ‘It came down to the team, they allow you the space out there. I decided to try and enjoy every moment on the pitch this weekend, and I did.’
Kok made the most tackles in Hamilton (27) and is leading the Blitzboks’ tackle count with 61 tackles this season.
The team’s next assignment is the Las Vegas Sevens from 2-4 March.
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images