Paul Delport returns to the Springbok Sevens squad in place of Renfred Dazel in one of three changes named by coach, Paul Treu for his team’s home leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series which starts on Friday in George.
Dazel suffered concussion after receiving a blow to the head against the USA last Saturday in Dubai he was therefore not considered for selection. Jacques Engelbrecht replaces Lubabalo Mtembu and MJ Mentz makes way for Steven Hunt.
Engelbrecht, the powerful SWD Eagles no 8, will make his Series debut in front of his home crowd. He as well as Hunt forced their way into the final squad after impressive performances for the SA Sevens B-team in tournaments in Sri Lanka and Dubai.
Meanwhile he South Africans continued their preparations for their home tournament with an early morning training session at the Saasveld rugby grounds.
True said he was pleased with the internal competition for places within the squad. “Apart from Renfred, everyone else have a clean bill of health. The team is upbeat and really looking forward to play in George.
“We now have much stronger competition for places in the squad and that can only be good for the individuals as well as the team.
“The major task for us as a management would be to keep the players calm and focussed. It will be the first home tournament for many of them and that in itself brings added pressure. We just want the guys to relax and to enjoy the experience,” added Treu.
The Springbok Sevens squad for George is:
Kyle Brown (captain), Frankie Horne, Boom Prinsloo, Sibusiso Sithole, Jacques Engelbrecht, Paul Delport, Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, Pieter Engelbrecht, Mark Richards, Steven Hunt, Bernado Botha.
Absa Insure signing session
Meanwhile, the entire squad of 16 players attended a signing session at the Absa York Street branch in George. Absa is an associate sponsor of the Springbok Sevens team.
Approximately 300 supporters attended the signing session where the Springbok Sevens players signed autographs for the local fans.
“We are really pleased to be here and to be part of the exciting atmosphere in George,” commented Kyle Brown, the Springbok Sevens captain.
“The locals are very supportive and their many wishes of support is a great source of inspiration for the team and management. It is the first home tournament for a number of players in the squad and it they have all enjoyed the vibe and the excellent build-up to the tournament.”