South Africa 7s squad for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 have three bronze medalist survivors from 2018, in Siviwe Soyizwapi – who will lead the team – Selvyn Davids and Ryan Oosthuizen.
Springbok Women’s Sevens stalwart Mathrin Simmers will play in her third RWC 7s in Cape Town next weekend; and stalwart Cecil Afrika was recalled to the Blitzbok side.
Joining Simmers are Nadine Roos, Zintle Mpupha and Eloise Webb, all of whom will make their second RWC 7s appearance when the action kicks off at Cape Town Stadium next Friday. Simmers and Sizophila Solontsi will co-captain the women’s side.
The Springbok Women’s Sevens team will play France in their tournament opener at 18h35 on Friday, and the Blitzboks will take on the winner of the qualifying match between Germany and Chile at 19h03. All the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Team coaches Neil Powell and Paul Delport both named squads consisting of 14 players each on at the official team announcement in Stellenbosch on Friday, and will confirm their final 12 players next Wednesday, before the 48-hour deadline to the tournament, to be played from 9-11 September.
The Blitzboks have a familiar look to it with 10 players who were in action at the recent Commonwealth Games in England, where they won the gold medal, with only Dewald Human and Zain Davids absent due to injury.
The duo, who also played in the 2018 tournament, picked up injuries at the HSBC LA Sevens last weekend, the last tournament of the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with the Blitzboks finishing second on the overall log standings.
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Afrika – the all-time leading Blitzbok points’ scorer in the World Series with 1462 points – was recalled due to Human’s injury. The experienced flyhalf last featured for South Africa in the World Series in 2020, but he has been playing for Monaco in the professional Extenso Super Sevens league in France in recent months.
Powell was happy to welcome back Afrika, who missed out in 2018 due to injury after making his RWC 7s debut in Moscow in 2013, and said: “We had been in regular contact since Cecil left Springbok Sevens to first play professional rugby in the USA and now France, so I am up to date with his fitness and form.
“The injuries to Justin Geduld earlier this year and now Dewald Human left us short of options at flyhalf and Cecil not only provides massive experience, but big match temperament as well. He will also take some of the work-load away from Selvyn Davids, who is coming back from injury.”
Davids, Ronald Brown, Christie Grobbelaar and Mfundo Ndhlovu all make a timely return to the squad, having missed the tournament in Los Angeles due to injuries sustained at the Commonwealth Games in July.
The Springbok Sevens squad (with RWC & World Series stats):
Cecil Afrika – 2013 RWC; 66 World Series tournaments (1462 points)
Ronald Brown – RWC debut; 8 World Series tournaments (285 points)
Angelo Davids – RWC debut; 9 World Series tournaments (160 points)
Selvyn Davids – 2018 RWC; 27 World Series tournaments (564 points)
Muller du Plessis – RWC debut; 20 World Series tournaments (315 points)
Christie Grobbelaar – RWC debut; 8 World Series tournaments (70 points)
Sako Makata – RWC debut; 16 World Series tournaments (60 points)
James Murphy – RWC debut; 10 World Series tournaments (45 points)
Mfundo Ndhlovu – RWC debut; 10 World Series tournaments (60 points)
Ryan Oosthuizen – 2018 RWC; 32 World Series tournaments (160 points)
JC Pretorius – RWC debut; 20 World Series tournaments (225 points)
Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 2018 RWC; 40 World Series tournaments (670 points)
Impi Visser – RWC debut; 21 World Series tournaments (115 points)
Shaun Williams – RWC debut; 7 World Series tournaments (80 points)
Springbok Women’s Sevens squad (RWC & World Series stats):
Marlize de Bruin – RWC debut; 1 World Series tournament
Kirsten Eastes – RWC debut; 1 World Series tournament
Nolwazi Hlabangane – RWC debut; 1 World Series tournament
Felicia Jacobs – RWC debut; 1 World Series tournament
Lerato Makua – RWC debut; 1 World Series tournament
Unathi Mali – RWC debut; 2 World Series tournaments
Ayanda Malinga – RWC debut, 1 World Series tournament (10 points)
Zintle Mpupha – 2018 RWC; 6 World Series tournaments (40 points)
Simamkele Namba – RWC debut
Asisipho Plaatjies – RWC debut; 1 World Series tournament
Nadine Roos – 2018 RWC; 5 World Series tournaments (79 points)
Mathrin Simmers – 2013, 2018 RWC; 14 World Series tournaments (35 points)
Sizophila Solontsi – RWC debut; 2 World Series tournaments
Eloise Webb – 2018 RWC; 5 World Series tournaments (7 points)#
Story courtesy/SA Rugby