Speed demons to fire up Blitzboks

2014-11-30 15:00

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The aptly named Blitzbokke will have pace to burn when the HSBC World Sevens Series resumes on Friday.

Round Two of the 2014/15 tournament will be held in Dubai on Friday and Saturday, with the South African leg in Port Elizabeth set for the following weekend (December 13 and 14).

Two of SA’s most electrifying runners, Seabelo Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe, have been included in the squad, while coach Neil Powell has also given exciting Blue Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant his Sevens debut.

Senatla has been with the Springboks on their European tour, but was released to join the Blitzbokke’s final preparations before departing for Dubai today.

The national Sevens team finished a disappointing fourth in the first event of the new series, the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia, but will have inspirational skipper Kyle Brown back from injury to keep them focused.

SA won gold at the Commonwealth Games and coach Neil Powell is determined to maintain a winning culture as all the teams inevitably begin to concentrate on the entry of Sevens into the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Also back in the short format of the game is versatile Rayno Benjamin – a veteran of 25 Sevens tournaments. He has done sterling service for the Cheetahs in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup, but the lure of an Olympic medal has seen him return to the Sevens fold.

The Dubai tournament will be staged at the Sevens Rugby Stadium. The Blitzbokke will face Wales, Portugal and Canada in Pool D.

After that, the “circus” will pack up and head for the 48?500-seater Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for two days of thrilling Sevens action and entertainment. The Blitzbokke will be defending the title they won when they beat New Zealand 17-14 in a thrilling Cup final.

The Springbok Sevens squad to play in Dubai (World Series caps in brackets) is: Ruhan Nel (1), Philip Snyman (25), Frankie Horne (60), Kwagga Smith (7), Werner Kok (10), captain Kyle Brown (40), Branco du Preez (33), Rayno Benjamin (25), Warrick Gelant (debut), Cecil Afrika (31), Seabelo Senatla (11) and Cheslin Kolbe (6).

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