Blitz Boks playing catch-up

George Byron

THOUGH they were slow out of the starting blocks in the opening leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series last month, the Blitz Boks are planning to put their foot on the gas when the second leg kicks off in Dubai today.

A fourth-place finish on Australia’s Gold Coast last month has left South Africa in fourth place on the standings with 15 points and some work to do to catch up with leaders New Zealand (22 points), Australia (19) and England (17).

Following the Dubai action, the 16 international teams will fly to South Africa on Monday to take part in the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens next weekend, December 7 and 8, in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa open their Pool D fixtures against Argentina today, while Russia await them mid-morning, before they finish their day one schedule in the evening against defending Dubai champions Samoa.

Springbok coach Neil Powell made three changes to the squad for their next two tournaments: prolific try-scorer Cornal Hendricks is no longer available after joining the Cheetahs to play Super Rugby, while Mark Richards and Steven Hunt were selected for the SA Academy team who are also in Dubai for the International Invitational tournament.

Powell chose Junior Springbok Cheslin Kolbe, fit-again Branco du Preez and Werner Kok as their replacements.


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