The Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India in October have become the new target for Paul Treu’s embattled Sevens rugby side.
Retaining their IRB World Series title now looks an extremely long shot and Treu has accordingly, and realistically, re-adjusted his sights.
“It’s a good time to start building for the future, and that includes the Commonwealth Games as our first goal after the series,” said Treu.
The sevens side have two tough pools in the next two legs of the series in Wellington and Las Vegas. They are in the same pool as series leaders New Zealand in Wellington and if they end second there it looks likely that they’ll face Fiji for a third time this season. Fiji have become SA’s hoodoo team of late, eliminating them in the quarters of both the Dubai and George tournaments.
There are four new caps in the squad for Wellington and Las Vegas –Philip van der Walt, Steven Hunt, Hoffman Maritz and Branco du Preez as well as Cecil Afrika, who was a newcomer in the squad when SA ended third at last year’s World Games in Taiwan.
“We have some very good young players and now we still have six tournaments to get to the right combination and standard,” said Treu. Du Preez and Afrika will take on the sweeping duties after Renfred Dazel has again been sidelined with a troublesome knee injury.