Blitzbokke hit by double injury blow

Date published: December 10 2015

South Africa's Sevens side will participate in this weekend's Cape Town Sevens without stalwarts Werner Kok  and Cecil Afrika, who are both injured.

Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown will play in his 50th tournament for the Springbok Sevens while Dylan Sage will make his South African debut and Rosko Specman is back in the squad.

The squad was announced in Cape Town on Thursday and the inclusion of Sage is one of two changes to the Springbok Sevens’ 12-man squad that won the Plate final last weekend in Dubai. The changes are as a result of the injuries suffered by Afrika (hamstring) and Kok (knee).

Kok will undergo knee surgery on Thursday in Cape Town, and the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year will be out of action for at least six months. Afrika will be sidelined for two weeks.

Specman replaces Afrika after a superb performance last weekend for the Samurai in Dubai. The Pumas speedster has already played in six World Series tournaments.

The strongly built Sage, in for Kok, played on the wing for the Ikeys in the Varsity Cup earlier this year and is equally at home amongst the Sevens forwards. The 23-year old recently signed a SARU Sevens contract and has played on numerous occasions for the successful SARU Sevens Academy. 

Commenting on the changes, Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell said: “Injuries are part and parcel of the game and it’s unfortunate that we have lost both Cecil and Werner. However, that again give opportunities to Rosko and Dylan, and I am sure they are excited about the challenge.”

South Africa are grouped with Zimbabwe, Kenya and England in Pool B. They start their campaign on Saturday against neighbours Zimbabwe, then tackle Kenya and their last fixture isagainst England.

Springbok Sevens squad:
Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Francois Hougaard, Kwagga Smith, Dylan Sage, Kyle Brown, Cheslin Kolbe, Ryno Benjamin, Justin Geduld, Rosko Specman, Seabelo Senatla, Juan de Jongh.