Sharks fullback Rhyno Smith has been included in the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad that will play tournaments in Uruguay and Chile.
Besides the inclusion of Smith, coach Marius Schoeman has selected teenagers Angelo Davids and Muller du Plessis along with capped Blitzboks Marco Labuschagne, Zain Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Dewald Human, Stedman Gans and Selvyn Davids.
SA Rugby Academy regulars Impi Visser, JC Pretorius and Mosolwa Mafuma complete the line-up, which will also see Sandile Ngcobo travelling along as assistant coach and reserve player.
‘This is an important trip for us,’ Schoeman commented. ‘We managed to deliver six players into the senior Blitzboks squad last season, and as we try to expand our player base with the eye on the future, this will be an important tour for the likes of Angelo and Muller, but also for Rhyno, who comes from a fifteens background.
‘We have travelled to these tournaments before, and I know that not only the new faces, but even the established players will be tested. This tour is not about the results at all costs, but one for all to learn, grow and pick up experience.’
The Sevens Academy squad will feature in pool A at the Punta Del Este Sevens in Uruguay, which will be played from 6-7 January, and will face Germany, Chile and Paraguay on day one. They then travel to Chile for the Vina Del Mar Sevens.
Sevens Academy squad: Marco Labuschagne, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, JC Pretorius, Ryan Oosthuizen, Muller du Plessis, Dewald Human, Selvyn Davids, Rhyno Smith, Stedman Gans, Mosolwa Mafuma, Angelo Davids.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images