The SA Sevens Academy won the Sudamericarugby sevens tournament in Vina del Mar, Chile.
The South Africans also claimed gold in Punta del Este last weekend in the first of two tournaments held to determine the final two South American qualifiers for the Sevens World Cup, which will take place in San Francisco in July.
The victory in Chile completed a very satisfying trip for the Academy side, where Sharks fullback Rhyno Smith, and three former SA Schools Sevens players – Muller du Plessis, Angelo Davids and Henk Cilliers – were introduced to the rigours of international sevens rugby.
‘We are delighted with the outcome of the trip,’ said coach Marius Schoeman. ‘Not only did the squad play to their full potential on Sunday to win the title, we also ticked other important boxes like blooding new players into the system and confirming the belief that our sevens structures are sound.
‘We faced a host of international teams in South America and with two spots for the Sevens World Cup on offer, they came with a great purpose. Congratulations to Chile and Uruguay, who in the end qualified.’
The South Africans had a tough opening day in Vina del Mar, where they lost to Ireland and drew against Brazil. They were in top form on the second day, though, and dispatched Germany 26-12 in the quarter-final and Uruguay 29-7 in the semi-final.
In the final, the SA Rugby Sevens Academy beat the French Academy 34-7.