The Springbok Sevens team will be without key forwards Kyle Brown and Tim Agaba when they re-assemble in Stellenbosch on Monday for the final two tournaments of the 2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, in London (2-3 June) and Paris (8-10 June).
Brown, their most experienced squad member, will undergo knee surgery next Tuesday to repair ligament damage sustained in Singapore last month. Agaba’s season was also cut short due to a bicep injury.
The Blitzboks are currently second on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series log after eight tournaments. They trail Fiji by three points and will have all to play for as they aim to defend their series title. Neil Powell’s side made the top four in all eight tournaments thus far this season, pointing to their consistent performances since the opening tournament in Dubai in December last year.
South Africa will contest Pool D at the HSBC London Sevens, along with Samoa, Canada and Russia and if they make it into the Cup quarter-finals, they could meet either Fiji, New Zealand, Scotland or Argentina, all drawn in a highly competitive Pool A.
Australia, Wales, Spain and Ireland will play in Pool B, with the latter being invited as 16th team. The hosts, England, will face Kenya, USA and France in another competitive pool.
Branco du Preez, who had an ankle strain, and Ruhan Nel, Justin Geduld and Philip Snyman, who were rested for the Singapore event, will all be integrated back into training next week.
Speedsters Rosko Specman (shoulder) and Selvyn Davids (hamstring) are currently recovering injuries and are in a race against time to be considered for the final two events.
There was a bit of good news on the injury front though with Chris Dry, who underwent knee surgery in December, recovering well as he aims to be ready for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco from 20-22 July.