HSBC Sevens World Series
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.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the dates for the HSBC Sevens World Series 2014 / 2015, which has gained in significance with the recent announcement that the top four-ranked nations will qualify from it directly for the Olympic Games in 2016.
According to the IRB’s official website, the 16th edition of the record-breaking series will visit the same nine countries as the current 2013/14 season with two changes to the order of rounds. The event in the USA will be played the weekend after New Zealand’s, and Japan’s tournament will follow on from Hong Kong.
Michael O’Connor has resigned from his position as Australian Rugby Sevens head coach citing family considerations as the contributing factor behind his decision.
“I tended my resignation to Anthony Eddy [General Manager - Rugby Sevens] and the ARU earlier this week.
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.
Auckland teenager Akira Ioane is set to make his international debut in the Wellington leg of the IRB Sevens World Series this weekend.
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.
New Zealand were dealt a big blow ahead of their home leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.
The Kiwis, who lost to South Africa in the Cup Final at the Las Vegas leg at the weekend, will be without the services of Sam Dickson, who was handed a nine-game ban for eye-gouging in their final pool match against Fiji.
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.
A lot of rugby will be played this weekend, with the much awaited friendly between Saracens and the Cell C Sharks, the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament in Las Vegas and the LV Cup, amongst others, happening.
The Referees & Match Officials have been named.
After an Off-season which certainly drove me slightly more batty than I already was, the new Rugby Season is now close at hand.
The coming weekend sees some of Super Rugby’s warm-up matches, with the Lions playing the Leopards on Friday evening 24 January, the Cheetahs playing against NMMU and again against the Kings on Saturday and of course the Sharks playing Saracens on Saturday 25 January in London. In addition there is the HSBC Sevens World Series Las Vegas tournament on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday and slightly into Monday very early morning.
Auckland player Akira Ioane has had to withdraw from the team for the Las Vegas Sevens tournament and has been replaced by Manawatu’s George Tilsley.
New Zealand will be without the services of star playmaker Tomasi Cama when they take part in the fourth leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.
Cama suffered a calf injury in training and will not depart with the team on Sunday – ahead of the Vegas tournament on 25 January and 26.
Despite their difficult financial situation, Fiji will definitely still take part in the Wellington Sevens tournament next month.
Sevens Wellington general manager Marty Donoghue confirmed that the Fiji team will remain a key feature of the 7 – 8 February tournament at Westpac Stadium.
Carlin Isles, a 24-year-old US Sevens wing, touted as the fastest man in rugby, was signed to a practice squad receiver contract on Thursday by the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
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 South African Blitzbokke and the other 15 international teams participating in this weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens arrived at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Monday evening.
The 16 teams arrived on two flights from Johannesburg, with the second flight about half an hour after the first flight.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament marks the last leg of the 2013 part of the 2013 / 2014 HSBC Sevens World series, to be resumed well into 2014.
The Dubai leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series was played, with Day 1 on 29 November and Day 2 on 30 November 2013.
Here are the Results & Fixtures.
Fiji won the Tournament against the Blitzbokke of South Africa, by 29 / 17.
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.
The Springbok Sevens will aim to improve on their Gold Coast performance of last month when they play in the Dubai Sevens on Friday and Saturday. The tournament marks Round 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which consists of nine tournaments worldwide.
The season may have ended for International sides like the South African Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks, but we still officially have one Test weekend left on the End Of Year Tours in 2013, and it is this weekend!
The Barbarians take on Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT), with a number of prominent Springboks and All Blacks in the Barbarians side and Wales host the Wallabies from Australia at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).
But that’s not all folks, we have some quality Sevens Rugby on Friday and Saturday (HSBC Sevens World Series, Dubai Tournament) and we also have the Varsity Sevens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday… all broadcast live. In addition we have Aviva Pemiership Round 9 rugby betwwen Gloucester vs Leicester Tigers and French Top 14 Round 13 rugby between Perpignon vs Clermont Auvergne on Friday night and an Aviva Premiershpi Round 9 rugby match between Newcastle Falcons vs Harlequins on Sunday
Here are the broadcast times for Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
Junior Springbok Cheslin Kolbe has joined the Springbok Sevens training group in Stellenbosch, ahead of the World Series tournament in Dubai.