Afrika back for Blitzbokke
Ace playmaker Cecil Afrika and debutant Werner Kok will join the Springbok Sevens team ahead of the last tournament of the IRB World Series, the London Sevens, at Twickenham this weekend.
The duo will replace Seabelo Senatla and Justin Geduld, who will join the SA U20 squad in Stellenbosch to prepare for the Junior World Championship that kicks off in France later this month.
Afrika has been declared fit following a knee strain and comes in for Senatla, whilst winger Kok, who was part of the Western Province team that won the U19 Provincial Championship in 2012, will replace his outside centre in that team, Geduld.
A final call on the fitness of Paul Delport, who injured his knee in the 28-21 final victory over New Zealand at the Glasgow Sevens on Sunday, will be made once the squad has settled down in London, revealed coach Paul Treu.
“We are obviously very happy to have Cecil back,” said Treu.
“He is a great player and motivates the rest of the team when he is fit and playing. With him fully recovered following his knee strain, it will also be important for us to manage him well with an eye on the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow next month.
“He needs to get some game time under his belt and will also be important to provide guidance to the younger guys in the squad, like Werner and WJ Strydom.”
Strydom made his Blitzbok debut in Glasgow and now Kok, another product of the SARU Sevens Elite Player Development squad, will join him.
“Werner is a very hard worker, is quick and fast and will be able to cover at centre and hooker, so I am very happy to welcome him in the squad,” Treu said of the Nelspruit born and raised former Pumas Craven Week player.
•South Africa’s win in Glasgow ensured a top seed for the Twickenham tournament and they will play USA, Australia and France in Pool A.
Due to the promotion/relegation for core team status on the circuit, only 12 teams will contest the Cup in London. Pool B consists of New Zealand, Wales Canada and Kenya and pool C of England, Fiji, Samoa and Argentina.
The likes of Scotland, Portugal, Russia and Spain will contest the second tournament, with Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia all aiming to become one of the final three teams to qualify as a core team for 2013/14.