Speedy Jaer gets call-up for Blitzboks

HIGH HOPES: Southern Kings back division star Malcolm Jaer has been called up to a SA Sevens training camp in Stellenbosch Picture: RUCHARD HUGGARD
HIGH HOPES: Southern Kings back division star Malcolm Jaer has been called up to a SA Sevens training camp in Stellenbosch

SA Sevens coach Neil Powell includes explosive Kings player in training squad

Explosive Southern Kings back division star Malcolm Jaer may be unleashed on the World Sevens Series circuit for the Blitzboks. A series of standout displays for the Southern Kings in Super Rugby caught the eye of SA Sevens coach Neil Powell, who wants to have a closer look at the 21-year-old speedster.

“Malcolm has gone to the SA sevens camp in Stellenbosch and is training with them. They asked to have a look at him,” Kings chief operating officer Charl Crous said.

“It is good for Malcolm to go to the camp and gain other experience and skills. Hopefully, he gets the nod to go and play in the first leg of the World Sevens Series in Dubai during December.

“Malcolm is not lost to the Southern Kings for Super Rugby. He will be returning to Port Elizabeth in the first week of December to prepare for our Super Rugby campaign.”

Last season, the diminutive Jaer won over the hearts of hard-bitten Nelson Mandela Bay rugby fans with his fearless tackling and blistering pace on attack.

Weighing in at only 72kg, Jaer made his mark with his try-saving tackles on much bigger opponents during the Kings’ opening Super Rugby matches.

Jaer’s fighting spirit was neatly summed up by Kings head coach Deon Davids during the Super Rugby season.

“When I think of Malcolm, one expression readily comes to mind,” Davids said.

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

“That is what Malcolm is about. He does not only have skill, but he has the heart, work ethic, the competitive edge and the right attitude to compete at this level.

“The only thing we can do is to ensure that he keeps on growing in this environment and keeps on improving mentally and physically on the field. It is a pleasure to have him in the squad,” Davids said.

Hopes are high that the Blitzboks will get off to a winning start when the World Series kicks off on December 2.

The Springbok Sevens squad started their preparations for the Sevens Series in Stellenbosch this week, keen to deliver another impressive year of performance on the world stage.

The South Africans took overall second place in the 2015-16 series that ended in June, having qualified for all 10 quarterfinals, eight semifinals and four finals (winning one).

They then travelled to the Olympic Games in Rio in August, where they won a bronze medal.

Powell said it was good to see the squad looking refreshed and eager to tackle the new season.

“The guys needed the break and it is good to see them back here. They are keen to get going, but this will not be an easy couple of weeks. There is lots of hard work to be done,” he said.

“The main focus areas we want to work on will be strength, conditioning and fitness. After that we will start looking at skills training and game plans.

“We then have a warm-up tournament in Namibia [before] the season kicks off proper in Dubai and Cape Town.”

The 10-tournament series kicks off in Dubai and South Africa is seeded second for the tournament. They will play the US, Scotland and Uganda in Pool B.

The Dubai tournament will be followed by the Cape Town Sevens on December 10 and 11.

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