Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell has named an unchanged tournament squad for this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.
Siviwe Soyizwapi will lead the same 11 men who left Dubai last weekend as gold-medal winners, a feat that will have them running out in front of their home fans as first seeds and early leaders in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Powell said there was no real need to alter the squad after their achievements in Dubai.
‘We did bring in Hacjivah Dayimani as 13th player as we wanted to give him a feel for the World Series, but his ankle injury put paid to that idea,’ explained Powell.
‘Impi Visser will be our official reserve this time around and I am quite comfortable having him around. He played very well for us last season and will be ready to slot in if needed.’
Powell says the good performance by the squad pleased him as coach, especially the way the team bonded as the tournament progressed.
‘We certainly played better as the tournament progressed, but this weekend we start at zero again,’ added Powell.
‘The players realise that last week’s performance will not mean anything this week. We are playing three very capable opponents and will have to be at our very best just to get out of our pool.
‘Japan is a difficult opponent to start against and Fiji and USA were the top two teams in last year’s series.’
The Blitzboks kick off their campaign at 8:03pm against Japan on Friday evening, while Fiji [1:51pm] and the USA [8:03pm] await on Saturday. Tickets for the first two days of the tournament are still available from Computicket.
1. Chris Dry (69 tournaments, 348 matches; 480 points, 96 tries)
2. Ryan Oosthuizen (18 tournaments, 89 matches; 95 points, 19 tries)
3. Dylan Sage (25 tournaments, 140 matches; 155 points, 31 tries)
4. Zain Davids (19 tournaments, 94 matches; 65 points, 13 tries)
5. JC Pretorius (6 tournaments, 33 matches; 60 points; 12 tries)
6. Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain; 29 tournaments, 151 matches; 460 points, 92 tries)
7. Selvyn Davids (15 tournaments, 75 matches; 319 points; 32 tries, 78 conversions, 1 penalty)
8. Rosko Specman (29 tournaments, 156 matches; 400 points; 74 tries, 15 conversions)
9. Justin Geduld (47 tournaments, 245 matches; 978 points; 107 tries, 220 conversions, 1 penalty)
10. Kurt-Lee Arendse (five tournaments, 22 matches; 45 points, 9 tries)
11. Seabelo Senatla (40 tournaments, 207 matches; 1135 points, 227 tries)
12. Ruhan Nel (29 tournaments, 153 matches; 252 points; 50 tries, 1 conversion)
13. Impi Visser (10 tournaments, 55 matches, 65 points, 13 tries) – official reserve.
Photo: Getty Images/Christopher Pike