There was a double cause of celebration for Team SA in Tokyo on Tuesday when both the men’s Sevens rugby and Under-23 football squads stretched their legs in full training sessions.
The good news came as a timely boost ahead of the football team’s opening fixture against hosts Japan on Thursday, while for rugby the outdoor practice sessions will have worked wonders as well.
Both the Sevens rugby and the Under-23 football squads had been under something of a “Covid-19 cloud” following recent positive tests in their respective camps.
Those players who took part in the training sessions had spent time in isolation, but with the news that they had all produced negative results in the latest round of Covid testing they were allowed to get out into the warm afternoon sunshine.
Sevens coach Neil Powell remains in quarantine, completely isolated from the squad, who went through their paces at the Shiranami Stadium in Kagoshima. This was their first venture outside of a hotel room since arriving in Japan a week ago.
It has been a taxing time for both the Sevens and football squads since they arrived at the Games. Now they are ina. rush to make up for lost time as they complete their preparations ahead of the matches that will soon come thick and fast.
Assistant coach Renfred Dazel and Sevens High Performance manager Marius Schoeman are standing in for Powell.