Neil Powell has announced an experienced Blitzboks squad for the Rugby World Cup Sevens despite a number of players missing due to injury.
Seabelo Senatla, Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika, Chris Dry, Tim Agaba and Stedman Gans are all unavailable due to injury, but there are at least returns for star playmaker Rosko Specman and the talented Selvyn Davids.
Kwagga Smith and Sikhumbuzo Notshe were also not considered because of their involvement in Super Rugby.
All 12 players in the squad were involved in the recently concluded World Rugby Sevens Series, played across 10 tournaments around the world, but only Blitzboks captain, Philip Snyman, has experience of playing at a World Cup event.
‘The team was picked with this tournament in mind and I am pleased that these 12 players are all on form and best suited for the way we approach the knockout format of the event,’ Powell said.
‘A couple of players missed out on final selection, but did contribute to our overall preparations and those efforts are appreciated and acknowledged. Just as all of the 28 players contributed towards our world series title, all involved did great work in order to get these 12 players ready for next weekend.’
Snyman said the Blitzboks are determined to make the country proud.
‘We do not have the greatest of records in this tournament, but that said, we know we will be a very competitive team if we play to our strengths and within our game plan. It is exciting times for all of us and we are ready to do our best for our country.’
The World Cup will take place from 20-22 July.
Blitzboks squad – Philip Snyman (c), Dylan Sage, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Selvyn Davids, Justin Geduld, Rosko Specman, Dewald Human, Heino Bezuidenhout, Werner Kok, Zain Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Ruhan Nel.
Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images