HSBC World Sevens Series champions South Africa have named experienced Dylan Sage and Siviwe Soyizwapi for the upcoming Oktoberfest 7s in Germany on September 29 and 30.
Sage, who will captain the side, and Soyizwapi are two of the seven capped Blitzbok players included in the squad that will see the kick-off of the South African national squad’s campaign for the 2017/18 season.
Zane Davids, Marco Labuschagne, Selvyn Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen and Dewald Human all made their Blitzboks debuts during the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Sage (17 tournaments) and Soyizwapi (12 tournaments) will provide vital experience in Germany.
Neil Powell will however not be the coach for the Germany trip as former Blitzboks captain Paul Delport will take charges.
A number of exciting talents, such as Sako Makata, Impi Visser, Mosolwa Mafuma and Mfundo Ndhlovo are included in the squad. Tythan Adams, who played Currie Cup for the Cell C Sharks this year, is also included after his successful introduction to the squad at the Howard Hinton Sevens in June, which the SA Rugby Sevens Academy won.
Delport expressed his satisfaction with the team selected: “We managed to assemble a strong squad and it will be exciting to see how the guys go.
“We have some good experience in guys such as Dylan and Siviwe, while the rest are all in the pipeline to become regulars of the World Series.
“There is a definite objective to blood our Academy players into the Springbok Sevens squad, with the likes of Zane, Marco, Selvyn, Ryan and Dewald all earning caps at stages of last season’s successful World Series campaign,” said Delport.
The team will play in Pool A in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, where they will face representative teams from France, Spain and Portugal.
“There are some quality teams invited and it will not be an easy weekend for us,” said Delport.
“We have not played as a team yet, while the European teams do have a number of tournaments under their belts, so we will need to make sure we are sharp and ready. Our training will be intense and focussed over the next week.”
The SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad (with number of HSBC WRSS tournaments) is: Marco Labuschagne (1), Sako Makata (0), Selvyn Davids (1), Siviwe Soyizwapi (12), Ryan Oosthuizen (4), Zain Davids (6), Dewald Human (2), Dylan Sage (captain, 17), Tythan Adams (0), Mosolwa Mafuma (0), Impi Visser (0), Mfundo Ndhlovo (0).
Management: Paul Delport (coach), Ashley Evert (manager), Hugh Everson (physiotherapist).