The Blitzboks will be looking for some redemption after their Gold Coast Commonwealth Games flop when they turn out at this weekend’s HSBC Singapore Sevens tournament.
The South African Sevens side finished in a disappointing fourth place at the quadrennial showpiece, failing to defend their title from four years ago.
The team will dust themselves off, however, and get back on the horse as they aim to consolidate their lead at the top of the World Rugby Sevens Series table.
The Blitzboks are three points ahead of Fiji on the overall log with Kyle Brown, the second highest capped Springbok Sevens player of all time, set to lead the side onto the field for the eighth of 10 tournaments in the series.
They have had to strike a delicate balance between utilising experience and growing their depth in a jam-packed season, according to Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell.
In the squad for the Singapore tournament, Powell included seven of the youngsters who competed at the recent Hong Kong Sevens where the team finished in a credible third place, with Heino Bezuidenhout, Ryan Oosthuizen, Zain Davids, Selvyn Davids, Stedman Gans, Muller du Plessis and James Murphy all back in action this week.
“We have one group of guys who are very keen to maintain their form from Hong Kong and show they deserve a permanent spot in the team, and another group itching to redeem themselves after the disappointment of Australia,” Powell said.
“It is great to have 12 players all wanting to prove a point. The danger will be if they wanted to do so as individuals, so the message is a simple one: play as a team and we will achieve more.
“We always knew that three tournaments in four weeks would be really taxing, hence the decision to send different teams to Hong Kong and Gold Coast and then combine them for Singapore. I am happy that we have a lot of energy in the squad for this weekend.”
Brown and six other members of the Commonwealth Games squad – Dylan Sage, Werner Kok, Rosko Specman, Cecil Afrika, Siviwe Soyizwapi and Zain Davids – will prop up the team for the Singapore leg.
Specman makes a return to the World Series after he missed the North American leg, with Brown wearing the captain’s armband in the place of Philip Snyman, who has been given a rest.
The Blitzboks face Samoa, Canada and Argentina in Pool C of the tournament.