A strong SA Sevens Academy squad, featuring several players with HSBC Sevens World Series experience, has been named to participate in the forthcoming international invitational tournaments in Harare and Dubai.
The Harare tournament takes places this weekend and will serve as the CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) qualifying tournament to determine an additional African country for the Hong Kong Sevens in March 2015.
The Dubai Invitational takes place on 5-6 December and forms part of an international Sevens festival in the United Arab Emirates, which features Round Two of the HSBC Sevens World Series, a World Rugby Women’s Series event and several other junior boys and girls tournaments.
Chris Dry, Steven Hunt, WJ Strydom, Shaun Adendorff and Rosko Specman are the senior players in the Academy squad and all of them have played in numerous World Series tournaments around the globe. The rest of the team consist of an exciting crop of young and promising players presently contracted to the SA Sevens Academy in Stellenbosch.
They include among others Vincent Maruping, the CUT Varsity Cup flanker who is the brother of former SA Schools representative Victor, and DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province wing Devon Williams, who is one of several new intakes at the Academy. Another Academy debutant is utility back Dewald Human, who made the move from the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
These youngsters will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent Academy graduates to the Springbok Sevens team, such as Justin Geduld, Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok and Seabelo Senatla, who has all been part of victorious Blitzboks teams in the recent past.
In Harare the South Africans will cross swords with the best African selections from hosts Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Tunisia, Nigeria and Madagascar. The 12 teams will be divided into two groups and the two top placed teams to emerge from Saturday’s pool action will contest the semi-finals on Sunday.
In Dubai next week the Academy squad will line up against international selections from Russia, Belgium, Germany, Kenya, the Gulf region and England.
The Academy team is coached and managed by Marius Schoeman, himself a former Springbok Sevens stalwart who represented South Africa in 42 World Series tournaments, and managed the sevens side at the 2nd African Youth Games in Botswana earlier this year. Former player, Paul Delport, pictured above, will assume the role of assistant coach.
The squad will depart on Friday for Harare and fly next Monday to Dubai.
The 12-man SA Sevens Academy squad to play in Harare and Dubai:
1 Carel du Preez (formerly of DHL WP U21 and a new recruit at the Academy)
2 Chris Dry (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
3 Vincent Maruping (CUT, Varsity Cup player)
4 Josh Moon (SARU Academy, has represented the Academy previously in Rome)
5 Shaun Adendorff (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
6 WJ Strydom (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
7 Devon Williams (represented DHL Stormers and DHL WP on the wing, new Academy recruit)
8 Lungelo Gosa (Academy contracted player)
9 Sandile Ngcobo (Academy contracted player)
10 Rosko Specman (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
11 Steven Hunt (SARU contracted Springbok Sevens player)
12 Dewald Human (Formerly of Vodacom Blue Bulls, new Academy recruit)
Marius Schoeman – Team Manager and Head coach, Paul Delport – Assistant coach, Wernich Smith – physio