Blitzbok debut for Ismaiel as Brown and Ndhlovu return

Feb 17 • Blitz Bokke, General News, International, National, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series, South Africa, South Africa • 3253 Views • Comments Off on Blitzbok debut for Ismaiel as Brown and Ndhlovu return

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Travis Ismaiel will complete a national team trifecta at the HSBC LA Sevens next weekend after being named in the Springbok Sevens squad that will contest the North American leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in the USA and Canada later this month.

Ismaiel, who played for the Junior Springboks and Springboks earlier in his career, is set to make his Blitzbok debut in Los Angeles to complete a rare hat-trick of national team selections. His inclusion is one of three changes to the side that played in the final of the HSBC Sydney Sevens late last month.

Springbok Sevens coach Sandile Ngcobo also included Ronald Brown and Mfundo Ndhlovu in this squad as the Blitzboks look to consolidate their top four spot in the World Series.

The trio come in for Darren Adonis and Dalvon Blood, who picked up season ending injuries in Sydney, as Shaun Williams, who sustained a knee injury at training this week.

Ngcobo welcomed the inclusion of Ismaiel for the first time.

“Travis worked very hard to come back from what seemed to be a career-ending shoulder injury and all of the rugby fraternity should be very pleased about this good news story,” said Ngcobo.

“I expect him to make a real impact in Los Angeles and credit to our High Performance Manager, Marius Schoeman, who made a brave decision to bring Travis into our set-up when he had nowhere else to go.”

The return of Brown and Ndhlovu comes at a very appropriate time: “Ronald and Mfundo bounced back well after their disappointments in Hong Kong and they return at the right time, as we lost Selvyn Davids and Darren Adonis on the last trip, and Shaun during the week.

“Both are World Series winners, and we will need their game breaking abilities in Los Angeles in what will be very competitive tournament once again.”

There was concern over Blitzbok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi, who suffered a shoulder injury in Sydney, but he came through the final training session unscathed and will again lead the team. South Africa will face Ireland, Uruguay and Canada in Pool B.

The Springbok Sevens squad (with World Series stats):

Ryan Oosthuizen – 37 tournaments, 177 matches (185 points, 37 tries)

Impi Visser – 26 tournaments, 135 matches (125 points, 25 tries)

Zain Davids – 37 tournaments, 187 matches (170 points, 34 tries)

James Murphy – 13 tournaments, 58 matches (55 points, 11 tries)

Christie Grobbelaar – 12 tournaments, 60 matches (95 points, 19 tries)

Masande Mtshali – 4 tournaments, 4 matches

Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 45 tournaments, 233 matches (700 points, 140 tries)

Travis Ismaiel – uncapped

Jaiden Baron – 2 tournaments, 10 matches (20 points, 4 tries)

Ricardo Duarttee – 4 tournaments, 23 matches (102 points, 7 tries, 32 conversions, 1 penalty goal)

Ronald Brown – 9 tournaments, 49 matches (303 points, 29 tries, 79 conversions)

Shilton van Wyk – 9 tournaments, 51 matches (115 points, 23 tries)

Mfundo Ndhlovu – 11 tournaments, 49 matches (60 points, 12 tries)

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