Bl­itzboks Fired Up for Paris

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Spring­bok Sev­ens coach Neil Pow­ell is con­fi­dent that the four changes made to his side for the up­com­ing Paris tour­na­ment will help the team achieve the goals set for this tour­na­ment in the French cap­i­tal and the re­main­der of the World Rugby Sev­ens se­ries. Fran­cois Hougaard, Rosko Spec­man, Philip Sny­man and Dy­lan Sage are the new faces in the squad from the last tour­na­ment in Sin­ga­pore, with Sny­man also tak­ing the cap­taincy role over from Kyle Brown. The Bl­itzboks de­parted South Africa for Paris on Sun­day and Pow­ell feels his team will give good ac­count of them­selves, pro­vid­ing they stick to the pro­cesses and struc­tures in place.

“We are look­ing to pos­si­bly ro­tate the team af­ter Paris for the Lon­don event, but for now we only look at next week. I am happy with the team we se­lected for the Paris leg,” Pow­ell said. “We have a strong pool in Paris play­ing Eng­land, Aus­tralia and Brazil and that is good for us, as this is some­thing we will prob­a­bly en­counter in Rio in a cou­ple of months. “We will try to keep our fo­cus on our struc­tures and pro­cesses and not the re­sults as such. If we stick to what we do well, the re­sults will come.” Sny­man is not ex­pect­ing the ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity of cap­tain the side will pose any prob­lems.

“Tak­ing the role of cap­taincy for Kyle is a nice chal­lenge. We work well to­gether, so I am look­ing for­ward to the added re­spon­si­bil­ity. We have to fo­cus on Paris for now. Game one against Eng­land is the big fo­cus. We know what we do best and will back our struc­tures. That will bring re­sults, I be­lieve.” Hougaard, who re­turns to the squad fol­low­ing a stint with Worces­ter Warriors, is keen to get back into the sev­ens mode.

“I have a great time in Worces­ter, but it is great to be back with the sev­ens fam­ily. We worked hard this week to pre­pare for Paris and that was great. “We are not look­ing too far ahead, as it can re­sult in us miss­ing the im­me­di­ate goals. We take it week for week and pre­pared well with the Paris Sev­ens in mind. It is not as easy to get back in sev­ens as it looks like, it takes time, but I worked hard this week.” Spring­bok Sev­ens speed­ster, Se­abelo Se­natla, who has scored 54 tries in the se­ries, said the team’s fo­cus is solely on what awaits them in France.

“The Olympics are get­ting closer, but we are not fo­cus­ing on that yet. All our en­ergy and fo­cus is on the next two tour­na­ments. The man­age­ment did well in keep­ing the guys fresh at the start of ev­ery tour­na­ment cy­cle. The guys are keen and hun­gry for the last two tour­na­ments.”

Squads:

Ryan Kankowski, Philip Sny­man, Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Fran­cois Hougaard, Kyle Brown, Dy­lan Sage, Rosko Spec­man, Justin Geduld, Ce­cil Afrika, Se­abelo Se­natla, Ruhan Nel.

Sport24

The Spring­bok 7s team for the Paris- Lon­don leg of the World Sev­ens Se­ries. Front: (from left) Justin Geduld, Se­abelo Se­natla, Philip Sny­man, Neil Pow­ell (coach), Kyle Brown, Ce­cil Afrika. Back: Rosko Spec­man,Dy­lan sage, Tim Agaba Ryan Kankowski, Ruhan Ne

Three of the Spring­boks Sev­ens reps Tim Agaba, Dy­lan Sage and Kyle Brown at the Bidbest lounge be­fore leav­ing for Paris on Sun­day. Photo: Dy­lan Sage / Twit­ter

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