Springbok Sevens coach Powell happy with team’s preparations

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Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell expressed his happiness with the way his team prepared for the first HSBC Spain Sevens, to be played in Malaga from Friday until Sunday.

For Powell, who walked away from the last four World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments as the winning coach, the work done in Stellenbosch in the last two weeks before their departure to Europe laid a good foundation for their challenge in Spain.

“We always do the hard yards at home and then just tweak whatever is needed after arriving at tournaments,” said Powell, according to SA Rugby statement. “Nothing has changed in that regard, and we have used our time here in Malaga to make sure the legs are stretched, and everyone is on the same page.”

World Series standings after two tournaments

1. South Africa 44

2. Argentina 34

3. Australia 32

4. USA 30

Powell said the easy transition from South Africa eased them into two solid days of preparation and they are as ready as they can be, but there will always be some nerves, despite the feeling of comfort.

“Our aim remains the same — to be as successful in this tournament as possible. We always reset to zero, but I will start with almost the same team as the one in Dubai,” he said.

“Having said that, the big difference between the Dubai team and this one is the fact that both Justin Geduld and Dewald Human are here as flyhalves and did not play in Dubai, where Selvyn Davids did an admirable job as stand-in flyhalf.

“Justin will play some matches at centre, including the opening match against Scotland. I am pleased both are back in the squad, but also keen to see the three other players who were not in Dubai. Sako Makata, Mfundo Ndhlovu and Darren Adonis are all really good players, so I am happy to have them fit and keen to see them perform.”

Springbok Sevens squad:

1. Sako Makata, 2. Ryan Oosthuizen, 3. Impi Visser, 4. Zain Davids, 5. Christie Grobbelaar, 6. JC Pretorius, 7. Branco du Preez, 8. Selvyn Davids, 9. Justin Geduld, 10. Dewald Human, 11. Siviwe Soyizwapi (capt), 12. Mfundo Ndhlovu, 13. Darren Adonis.

Fixtures

Friday

2.12 pm: Scotland

Saturday

2.14 pm: England

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