Springbok centre JJ Engelbrecht and Western Province full-back Cheslin Kolbe have been called up to South Africa’s Sevens squad.
Springbok centre JJ Engelbrecht and Western Province full-back Cheslin Kolbe have been added to South Africa’s Sevens squad for December.
They will join the training group in Stellenbosch.
Successful talks between SARU and several provincial unions have paved the way for a number of Currie Cup players to be released.
Engelbrecht, a contracted Springbok with twelve Test caps, played for the Blue Bulls in the recent Currie Cup while Kolbe starred for the Western Province during their successful campaign.
Three more Blue Bulls players, Jesse Kriel, Warrick Gelant and Duncan Matthews (all utility backs), will also assemble at base camp on Monday. They will be joined by Springbok Sevens regulars Justin Geduld (Western Province), Kwagga Smith and Mark Richards (Golden Lions), who returns to Sevens duties tomorrow having completed their provincial commitments.
Rayno Benjamin, a seasoned Bok Sevens and World Series campaigner but nowadays a regular Free State Cheetahs stalwart, is training with the squad since last week already.
The Dubai Sevens takes place on 5 and 6 December and will be followed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens a week later, where the South Africans are defending champions.
Springbok Sevens head coach Neil Powell said the duo are a welcome boost to his plans.
“Our training for the Gold Coast tournament was hampered slightly by niggling injuries and Absa Currie Cup commitments in some cases. But thanks to Rassie Erasmus (SARU GM for High Performance) we could secure the release of these additional players. Cheslin and Rayno know our structures and playing philosophy very well, while I am looking forward to working with the rest of the group,” said Powell.
Regular captain, Kyle Brown, is continuing with his rehabilitation following a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Phillip Snyman has sustained a calf muscle injury during training on Monday. He is presently undergoing further investigation to determine the extent of the injury.
Stephan Dippenaar is out of the next two legs following a hamstring injury sustained at the Gold Coast. Powell will name his 12-man squad for Dubai and PE at the end of the month.