Specman, Sage called in as Blitzbok injury cover
Rosko Specman and the uncapped Dylan Sage were on Monday added to the Springbok Sevens squad as injury cover for Werner Kok and Cecil Afrika.
The duo joined the Blitzboks squad on Monday afternoon at their team hotel in Cape Town. Kok, the current World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, sustained a knee injury in Dubai over the past weekend, while Afrika has a troublesome hamstring.
South Africa returned home on Sunday after winning the Plate Final at the season opening Dubai Sevens tournament on Saturday. The Blitzboks are the defending SA tournament champions and will be aiming for a third home title in a row when the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens will be staged at the 55 000 seater Cape Town Stadium this coming Saturday Sunday.
The sold-out event is the second round of the World Series which consists of ten tournaments across the globe. The rest of the participating teams arrived late on Monday afternoon in the Mother City.
Specman was one of the standout players for the SARU Sevens Academy squad, the Samurais, during their successful campaign at the Dubai International tournament this past weekend. He has played in six HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments so far for South Africa and also starred for the Steval Pumas in the Absa Currie Cup competition.
The 23-year old Sage played Varsity Cup rugby for the University of Cape Town (Ikeys) earlier this year and is equally at home in the backline as well as amongst the Sevens forwards.
After spending a night at home, the Springbok Sevens reassembled on Monday afternoon at their Waterfront hotel in the city. They also had a good workout in a nearby gym.
Neil Powell, the Blitzboks’ coach, said his squad have put their Dubai quarterfinal loss behind them and are now looking forward to playing in Cape Town.
“The guys are glad to be home and you could immediately see that they are embracing the prospects of playing in front of our home fans. We are looking forward to a good week in Cape Town,” said Powell.
He added: “I think the guys responded really well after the USA defeat and played with a lot of pride and character to win the Plate. We realise there will always be pressure on any home team but we showed in Port Elizabeth, where we have won the previous two years, that we can handle the pressure,” explained Powell.
Powell will name his 12-man squad on Thursday.