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Same again for Blitzboks at Cape Town Sevens

Blitzboks sevens coach Neil Powell has rewarded the 12 players who won last week’s opening tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai when he named an unchanged squad for this weekend’s highly anticipated HSBC Cape Town Sevens.

The tournament takes place in the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday and Sunday and tickets were sold out in a matter of hours after they went on sale a couple of months ago.

‘All the players would love to play in their only home tournament on the circuit, so the result at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens made it easy for me to pick the team,’ said Powell.

‘Everyone returned fit from that tournament and will have the added motivation of playing in front of a very supportive home crowd. The only change to our squad is the official reserve – we have included Siviwe Soyizwapi in the place of Marco Labuschagne – which was part of our planning all along.

‘Siviwe travelled to Dubai as captain of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad, which gave him the opportunity to get some playing time. He performed very well there and he will slot in easily, should one of our players pick up an injury which rules him out of the tournament.’

Powell admitted that he was feeling slightly nervous as the tournament approached, but is comfortable that his squad prepared well. ‘We needed to fine-tune a couple of things that we did not execute well in Dubai,’ said Powell.

‘This we did that and still have two training sessions left this week, so we have to ensure the players are mentally ready for the big event.’

South Africa will play Russia, France and Kenya in Pool A of the competition on Saturday.

Picture of Blitzboks coach Powell courtesy of Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

The Blitzbok team:
1 Chris Dry (63 tournaments, 304 matches, 455 points, 91 tries)
2 Philip Snyman (captain, 48 tournaments, 213 matches, 306 points, 55 tries)
3 Tim Agaba (11 tournaments, 55 matches, 45 points, 9 tries)
4 Kwagga Smith (28 tournaments, 141 matches, 290 points, 58 tries)
5 Werner Kok (30 tournaments, 148 matches, 360 points, 72 tries)
6 Kyle Brown (59 tournaments, 291 matches, 395 points, 79 tries)
7 Branco du Preez (56 tournaments, 281 matches, 1079 points, 79 tries)
8 Rosko Specman (22 tournaments, 117 matches, 278 points, 50 tries)
9 Justin Geduld (31 tournaments, 158 matches, 684 points, 76 tries)
10 Cecil Afrika (54 tournaments, 279 matches, 1322 points, 152 tries)
11 Seabelo Senatla (34 tournaments, 173 matches, 980 points, 196 tries)
12 Ruhan Nel (22 tournaments, 110 matches, 187 points, 37 tries)
13 Siviwe Soyizwapi* (12 tournament, 57 matches, 175 points, 35 tries)

*Replacement Player

– Cecil Afrika is South Africa’s all-time leading points’ scorer in the World Series – 1322 points
– Seabelo Senatla is the all-time leading try-scorer for the Blitzboks – 196 tries

South Africa’s schedule for Saturday:
12.49pm: Russia
4.10pm: France
7.56pm: Kenya