Soyizwapi and Plaatjies to lead SA Sevens teams at Commonwealth Games

Sivive Soyizwapi and Asisifo Plaagies have been named captains of the South African men’s and women’s sevens teams. Commonwealth Games starting in Birmingham next week.

Both teams, named on Thursday, will travel to England on Saturday for a multi-sport event.

Blitzbok captain Soyizwapi and Zane Davids are the only team members to make their second appearance at the Commonwealth Games as part of the South African team.

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β€œI really think the team has a good balance between experience and youth, and a lot of the young players who did well and put their hands up in the last two seasons got their reward,” said Blitzboks coach Neil Powell.

“We think that the young guys bring very good energy to the team and if we channel it in the right way and in the right direction, it will benefit the team.”

South Africa, which won gold at the 2014 Glasgow Games but missed out on a podium finish at the 2018 Gold Coast show, is due to play Malaysia, Tonga and Scotland at their pool in Birmingham.

Women’s Tournament

Meanwhile, Springbok Women’s Sevens head coach Paul Delport has named six new players to the team for the multi-sport spectacle, with Plaagies taking charge of the team for the first time.

The 26-year-old University of Fort Hare student is enjoying a stellar year on the rugby field. She made her debut for the national team at the World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Toulouse in May, and three weeks later she scored the winning try for Border Ladies in the Women’s Premier Division final against Western Province in Cape Town.

South African Women's Seven Captain Asisifo Plaagies
Asizifo Plaagies will lead the South Australian women’s team at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Gallo Images

Matryn Simmers and Unati Mali are the only two survivors of the 2018 tournament, which saw the first appearance of women’s rugby sevens, with the South African team failing to win any of their pool or play-off matches.

However, Liske Lategan, Donell Snyders and Anacadia Minnaar have also traveled to Toulouse, while Felicia Jacobs is an international female springbok who has competed three times in the Tests.

“We’re approaching this tournament with realistic expectations,” Delport said.

β€œIt will be a huge learning curve for us, but we will be better for it. We have set goals for the tournament and will judge ourselves by them.”

South African men’s team

Sakoyisa Makata, Christy Grobbelaar, James Murphy, Zane Davids, Angelo Davids, JC Pretorius, Ronald Brown, Selwyn Davids, Sean Williams, Devald Human, Sivive Soyizwapi (Captain), Muller du Plessis, Mfundo Ndhlovu

South Africa women’s team

Unati Mali, Asisifo Plaagies (Captain), Kemiketso Baloyi, Donelle Snyders, Luleka Tibilika, Anacadia Minnaar, Nontutoko Shongwe, Kayla de Vries, Felicia Jacobs, Matryn Simmers, Zandile Masuku, Liske Lategan, Bianca Augustine