Sevens

Blitzboks spoilt for choice at playmaker

Cheslin Kolbe (Gallo Images)
Cheslin Kolbe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - There is no doubt that losing Cecil Afrika and Werner Kok to injury is a massive blow to the Blitzboks ahead of this weekend's Cape Town Sevens.

Kok was the Player of the Year in the 2014/15 Sevens World Series, while Afrika is the seasoned general tasked with sparking attacks for the men in green. 

But, says coach Neil Powell, the Blitzboks have three quality playmakers at their disposal who can step into Afrika's shoes. 

One of them is Stormers fullback Cheslin Kolbe, whose reintroduction into the Sevens game has gone well in his coach's eyes. 

"I’m very happy with Chelsin. Last year he also played for us in PE but he was still a little bit unsure about himself," said Powell.

"He’s playing with a lot of confidence and I'm really happy to see where he’s at."

The other options are Justin Geduld, who will play in his 20th World Series event this weekend, and the newly recalled Rosko Specman. 

"Seeing as Cecil is not there it is an opportunity for Justin (Geduld) and Cheslin (Kolbe) and even Rosko Specman to make a step up and take the lead almost, and take that responsibility of playmaker and decision maker in the team," said Powell.

"We’ve still got three fantastic playmakers in the team and I’m sure they’ll step up."

The Blitzboks have won the last two World Series events in South Africa - both in Port Elizabeth - and with the buzz surrounding this weekend's tournament in Cape Town there are bound to be a few nerves around. 

"The guys showed over the past two years in PE that they can cope with the pressure and hopefully we can do it again this year," said Powell.

"We need to turn that almost nervous energy around into positive energy and feed from the crowd."

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