World 7s Series log leaders South Africa 7s have made four changes to their squad ahead of the Toulouse and London 7s scheduled for the final two weekends of May.
Head Coach Neil Powell welcomes back most capped SA 7s player Branco du Preez who has since recovered from a shoulder injury he picked up at the World Series event in Seville, Spain in January. It will be Du Preez’s 80th World Series tournament, having played in 400 matches and amassed 1409 career points, second only to Cecil Afrika (1462).
Muller du Plessis is also back after healing from a broken leg. The player has been absent since the first of the two Dubai tournaments.
Tiaan Pretorius has been included in the squad and Mfundo Ndhlovu has recovered from the head knock sustained in Singapore and will travel to Toulouse. Speaking to SA Rugby official website after naming the squad Powell said:
“We got experience back with the inclusion of Branco and Muller, who were both regular starters before their injuries, so they will add to our depth in the backs,” said Powell.
“We have two forwards out in Sako and Christie, so Tiaan will get another opportunity. I am hoping for a similar effort from him than the last time he played in Dubai.
“Mfundo was unfortunate to be ruled out early in Singapore following HIA protocols and has slotted in very well upon his return to training.”
Du Preez said he can’t wait to get back on the field: “There is still so much to play for this season, and we need strong performances on this trip to make sure we do justice to the good start we had. We need to bounce back from the last two performances, and I am determined to contribute to that effort.”
Du Plessis said the frustration of missing out following his injury was eased by the performances of the team in his absence.
“We are in a good position to retain the World Series title, but that was a long-term goal. For now, we just want to get back onto the field and deliver performances that we and the country can be proud of,” Du Plessis told SA Rugby official portal.
South Africa are pooled alongside Samoa, Ireland and Spain.
Springbok Sevens squad for the HSBC France Sevens in Toulouse:
- James Murphy – 7 tournaments, 26 matches, 20 points (4 tries)
- Ryan Oosthuizen – 29 tournaments, 138 matches, 150 points (30 tries)
- Impi Visser – 19 tournaments, 96 matches, 95 points (19 tries)
- Zain Davids – 30 tournaments, 151 matches, 145 points (29 tries)
- Tiaan Pretorius – 2 tournaments, 7 matches, 5 points (1 try)
- JC Pretorius – 18 tournaments, 96 matches, 210 points (42 tries)
- Branco du Preez – 79 tournaments, 400 matches, 1409 points (99 tries, 454 conversions, 1 penalty goal, 1 drop goal)
- Selvyn Davids – 27 tournaments, 141 matches, 564 points (69 tries, 108 conversions, 1 penalty goal)
- Ronald Brown – 6 tournaments, 35 matches, 232 points (22 tries, 61 conversions)
- Dewald Human – 15 tournaments, 66 matches, 195 points (15 tries, 60 conversions)
- Siviwe Soyizwapi – 37 tournaments, 193 matches, 625 points (125 tries)
- Muller du Plessis – 16 tournaments, 78 matches, 285 points (57 tries)
- Mfundo Ndhlovu – 8 tournaments, 37 matches, 40 points (8 tries)