Springbok Sevens forward Chris Dry will miss the last two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Glasgow and London as a result of the back injury he sustained in Hong Kong, the South African Rugby Union confirmed on Wednesday.
Cecil Afrika will join the Springbok Sevens rugby squad in Hong Kong after the former IRB Sevens Player of the Year passed his fitness test over the weekend.
Afrika, who has now recovered fully from a hamstring niggle, replaces Steven Hunt.
The Springbok Sevens lost 33-26 to Fiji in a thrilling, epic Tokyo Sevens Cup Final after the Pacific Islanders managed to score a brilliant and trademark long range winning try with just second remaining on the clock.
However, despite the disappointment of losing their tournament title in what must surely rank as one of the all-time great HSBC Sevens World Series Cup Finals, the South Africans did manage to regain the lead on the overall standings.
Prolific try scorer Seabelo Senatla returns to the South African squad for the next two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series – in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
However, playmaker Cecil Afrika will miss the trip to the Far East because of a troublesome hamstring.
Steven Hunt replaces Afrika, while Senatla comes in for Sampie Mastriet, who is on Super Rugby duty with the Bulls, for the two changes to the 12-man squad that lost to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup Final last month.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.
De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.
The New Zealand leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, in Wellington, was played this weekend.
The South African Blitzbokke started their bid to win a 3rd Tournament in a row in fine fashion, by beating Wales 26 / 0 and beating Portugal 27 / 5.
The Blitzbokke’s next challenge was England, and the game was won by England, by 19 / 5. Both England and South Africa advance to the Cup Quarters, England played Samoa and the Blitzbokke played Australia.
New Zealand comfortably beat France, 47 / 0 in the last game of Day 1, after earlier losing to Fiji, but also advanced to the Cup Quarters, where they played against Canada.
At the 2nd Day of the tournament, New Zealand and South Africa advanced all the way to the final, with Fiji beating England in the 3rd place play-off.
New Zealand won the final by 21 / 0 against the South African Blitzbokke, capitalizing on mistakes and shutting the Blitzbokke out in the 2nd half.
The South African Blitzbokke Sevens team head into the weekend’s Wellington Sevens in New Zealand looking for a 3rd successive tournament title in what would be a first for the South Africans.
The last time any team could win 3 consecutive tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series was in 2010 when Samoa took the honours in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong.
The injured Springbok Sevens duo of Seabelo Senatla and Rosko Specman will return to South Africa and will be replaced by Jamba Ulengo and Kwagga Smith for the Wellington Sevens on 7 – 8 February, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Thursday.
The two wings sustained ankle injuries during last weekend’s Las Vegas Sevens, where the Bok Sevens team won the tournament title for a second successive year. Smith and Ulengo will join the squad on Saturday.
South Africa defended their Las Vegas Sevens successfully when they defeated New Zealand 14-7 in another dramatic and tense Cup final between the two rugby rivals in the early hours of Monday morning (SA time).
The teams were tied 7-all at halftime after Scott Curry had opened the scoring for New Zealand and Branco du Preez replied for the Springbok Sevens.
The Springbok Sevens’ defence of their Las Vegas Sevens title started off on a powerful note as they ended day one without conceding a point.
Placed in a tricky pool alongside Wales, Canada and Kenya, the Blitzbokke placed their marker early on as they smashed Wales 43-0 in the opening game of the tournament and then followed it up with a comprehensive 29-0 win over Canada in the second game of their pool fixtures.
The Blitzbokke will be aiming for a third title in four years at the Las Vegas Sevens this weekend.
The BlitzBokke head into the fourth round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Las Vegas off the back of an emotional Cup win on home soil in December.
The South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, was held at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, takes place on 7 and 8 December 2013.
The tournament was played in emotionally charged circumstances after the death of beloved South African and world statesman, Nelson Mandela, who passed away in the night of 5 December 2013.
In these circumstances the open question was whether South Africa’s Blitzbokke could go one better than the previous tournament when they were beaten in the final by Fiji.
The question was answered… the South African Blitzbokke are the winners and title holders at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth!
Here are the Fixtures and Results:
Maybe it’s fitting that the South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament of 2013 / 2014 takes place a couple of days after the passing of the world’s biggest ever statesman, Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) at the stadium named in his honor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
It is the last sevens action in the HSBC Sevens World series of 2013.
The South African Blitzbokke will be eager to tribute this tournament to Madiba.
We bring you all you need to know about the 16 teams who will be vying for top honours in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, the third round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
The Springbok Sevens have called up Steven Hunt, Kwagga Smith and Rosco Speckman as injury cover for Stephan Dippenaar, Jamba Ulengo and Frankie Horne.
The South Africans will be in action over the weekend in the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth.
The captains of the top four seeds – New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa – admit that they expect a tough test in this weekend’s Dubai Sevens.
Junior Springbok Cheslin Kolbe has joined the Springbok Sevens training group in Stellenbosch, ahead of the World Series tournament in Dubai.
Pumas speedster Rosco Speckman was this week added to the Springbok Sevens training squad in Stellenbosch.
The group is preparing for the next two legs of the IRB Sevens World Series – in Dubai and Port Elizabeth.
Prolific try scorer and Blitzbok stalwart, Cornal Hendricks, finally gets to don the Cheetahs jersey. The Toyota Cheetahs iniatially contracted Hendricks for this year’s Super Rugby, but a dispute arose with SARU, as Sevens coach Paul Treu wanted Hendricks for the Sevens circuit. It now seems that Hendricks’ wish of playing for the Cheetahs will come true.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has confirmed that Hendricks has signed a contract for the 2014 Super Rugby and Currie Cup season.
Springbok Sevens assistant coach Vuyo Zangqa will not renew his contract and will be stepping down from his current position with the South African team.
Zangqa was offered an extension on his contract, but has decided to pursue other career opportunities once his contract expires at the end of the month.
Neil Powell was announced as the new Blitzbokke coach on Saturday.
The former Blitzbokke captain will be taking charge as coach at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia.
Facing a looming wing crisis, coach Naka Drotske has called in some favours. In the past the Cheetahs have often released players for Bok Sevens duty. Now the shoe is on the other foot, with the Sevens team helping the Cheetahs out of a bind.
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 was held in Moscow, Russia between 28-30 June. It was the sixth RWC Sevens and the second comprising a men’s and women’s tournament, following the event in Dubai in 2009.
Before this tournament, the defending men’s champions were Wales. Australia were the inaugural women’s champions.
New Zealand’s MEN and WOMEN’s sides won this tournament, completing an impressive double.
New Zealand 33 / 0 England (men)
New Zealand 29 / 12 Canada (women)
The Springbok Sevens team were given a temporary setback as Junior Boks Seabelo Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe were unable to train with them in Moscow on Tuesday.
The duo, who joined the Blitzbokke on Monday night at their team hotel in the centre of Moscow, have been struggling after three weeks of hard rugby at the Junior World Championship in France and need some time to make the switch back to Sevens.
A fit-again Kyle Brown will lead the Springbok Sevens team into battle at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium next weekend when the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament takes place from 28-30 June.
Brown is one of three survivors of the team that reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 tournament that was held in Dubai, UAE. The others are Ryno Benjamin and Philip Snyman.
It may not be a squad of superstars, but Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu can announce a squad of virtual allsorts to mould into a World Cup-winning team on Monday.
Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu wants to strengthen his squad with one or two Super Rugby players for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
Niggling injuries to regular stalwarts Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez have forced the hand of Springboks Sevens coach Paul Treu.
South Africa’s Blitzbokke did their nation proud!
Going into the semi-final, they faced Samoa, who took them all the way to extra time before the golden goal by the Blitzbokke put South Africa in the final against New Zealand who was also taken into extra time by Fiji in their semi-final.
The final was a total demolition job by the Blitzbokke on New Zealand, with the Blitzbokke romping to 28 / 0 (4 converted tries) by halftime.
They kept their composure, scoring again after halftime, leading 35 / 0, before New Zealand scored 3 times in a gutsy effort to pull the score back to respectable levels against 1 final score by South Africa.
South Africa won in fine style, by 40 / 21.
South Africa made a solid start on day one of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas on Saturday morning (SA time) by winning both of their pool matches against Uruguay and Canada to qualify for the Cup quarterfinals with a match to spare.
Injuries to several key players have forced Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu to make three changes to his squad for the forthcoming HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in New Zealand and the USA.