Cape Town - Chris Dry has been promoted to the Springbok Sevens 12-man squad at the Hong Kong Sevens after Zain Davids was ruled out due to a shoulder injury picked up in training earlier on Wednesday.
Dry travelled to Hong Kong as official reserve and his elevation to the squad for his 67th tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series means James Murphy has been called up to travel to Hong Kong as the 13th player.
Murphy made his debut in Hong Kong last year and also played in Singapore for the Blitzboks. He will join the squad on Thursday.
Davids’ injury will not dampen the Blitzboks’ enthusiasm and the intensity at training remained high, something team captain, Siviwe Soyizwapi, believes to be a good sign prior to their first match against Japan on Friday.
“We have been training very well - the intensity is high, the guys are keen and the input very good,” said Soyizwapi.
“There has been good energy and the fact that we are enjoying each other’s company off the field as well makes everyone keen to get started.”
Soyizwapi is under no illusion of the task ahead and the challenges facing the Blitzboks, despite having won the previous tournament in Vancouver.
“We have a lot of new combinations and younger players in the squad and we almost need to start over. It is exciting for us, but also demanding on the system,” said Soyizwapi, who feels there is momentum and confidence flowing from the win in Canada.
“It started at the camp in Stellenbosch already, the eagerness to take on the next challenge, in this case, Hong Kong.”
Soyizwapi believes he knows the triggers to make the team perform best: “We are a happy team. We play best when the guys are in a good space and happy with each other's company and playing for the guys next to you. If we get that going early, it will be a goal achieved and a box ticked.”
Blitzboks squad for Hong Kong:
1. Ryan Oosthuizen (13 tournaments, 61 matches, 65 points, 13 tries)
2. Sako Makata (2 tournaments, 9 matches, 0 points)
3. Impi Visser (6 tournaments, 35 matches, 20 points, four tries)
4. Chris Dry (66 tournaments; 331 matches, 465 points, 93 tries) - travelling reserve
5. Werner Kok (43 tournaments, 218 matches, 485 points, 97 tries)
6. Kurt-Lee Arendse (one tournament, two matches, 0 points)
7. Branco du Preez (67 tournaments, 339 matches, 1120 points; 88 tries, 387 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop goal)
8. Selvyn Davids (11 tournaments, 53 matches, 237 points, 27 tries, 51 conversions)
9. Justin Geduld (42 tournaments; 217 matches, 904 points - 95 tries, 213 conversions, 1 penalty)
10. Stedman Gans (15 tournaments, 69 matches, 105 points, 21 tries)
11. Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain; 24 tournaments, 124 matches, 385 points, 77 tries)
12. Angelo Davids (on debut)
13. James Murphy (2 tournaments) - travelling reserve
The Springbok Sevens' Pool A fixtures:
Friday, April 5:
12:06 v Japan
Saturday 6 April:
05:41 v Scotland
09:22 v Samoa