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Rugby | Sevens World Cup

Neil Powell © Gallo Images

Blitzboks enter final phase of RWC Sevens preparations



The Springbok Sevens squad assembled in Mossel Bay on Sunday for a final training camp before departure to San Francisco, where the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament will be played at AT&T Park from 20-22 July.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell will name his final 12-man squad on Wednesday and will use the next four days in the Southern Cape to fine-tune preparations for their final event of the 2017/18 season.

The Blitzboks last month won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series crown for a second consecutive season and also placed fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, with the Melrose Cup – the only major silverware yet to be owned by South Africa – the final hurdle in a bumper season.

“We are now fully focussed on what we want to achieve in San Francisco and all our planning is geared towards being ready to that first match,” said Powell.

“The format of the Rugby World Cup Sevens is such that no team can afford even the slightest slip up, and we need to ensure our timing is right.”

South Africa will face the winner of Ireland and Chile in their first match of the event, on Saturday, 21 July (06h15 SA time).

“We will be fine-tuning all aspects of our play this week,” said Powell.

“The game plan is well drilled in as we have just played finished the World Series, but the application and commitment comes with every match we play. “

The Blitzboks played a warm-up match against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg last week and Powell was pleased with the outcome: “The first highlight was that all players came through that without any new injury concerns, while guys such as Rosko Specman and Selvyn Davids showed good progress in their return to play phase of recovery.”

Powell confirmed that Chris Dry and Stedman Gans will not form part of the final week as they will not be fit to play next weekend. The team will train at Van Riebeeck Sports Stadium in Mossel Bay on Monday and Tuesday.



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