Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell rewarded the 12 players who won the opening tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai when he named an unchanged squad for the highly anticipated Cape Town Sevens on Wednesday.
The tournament takes place in the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday and Sunday and tickets were sold out in a matter of hours after they went on sale a couple of months ago.
“All the players would love to play in their only home tournament on the circuit, so the result at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens made it easy for me to pick the team,” said Powell.
“Everyone returned fit from that tournament and will have the added motivation of playing in front of a very supportive home crowd.
“The only change to our squad is the official reserve – we have included Siviwe Soyizwapi in the place of Marco Labuschagne – which was part of our planning all along.
“Siviwe travelled to Dubai as captain of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad, which gave him the opportunity to get some playing time. He performed very well there and he will slot in easily, should one of our players pick up an injury which rules him out of the tournament.”
Powell admitted that he was feeling slightly nervous as the tournament approached, but he is comfortable that his squad prepared well.
“We needed to fine-tune a couple of things that we did not execute well in Dubai,” he added.
“We did that and we still have two training sessions left this week, so we have to ensure the players are mentally ready for the big event.”
South Africa will play Russia, France and Kenya in Pool A of the competition on Saturday.
South Africa squad for Cape Town 7s: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman (c), Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel
Replacement: Siviwe Soyizwapi