A strong line-up of Blitzbok regulars are making final preparations ahead of the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, where the Sevens Tournament kicks off on Friday.
last week saskok finally released to the competition the traveling team Blitzboks, which, oddly enough, did not have any of the star players mentioned in the team’s early draft back in June.
Players such as Cibelo Senatla, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jordan Hendricks and Mani Libbock were included, but none made it to the final 13, with coach Neil Powell explaining that Saskok had rushed their earlier release.
“The Commonwealth Games are completely different from any other tournament we play. We have to have a long list almost six months before we actually play games and then you can only choose your players from that long list,” Powell explained.
“So even if we got a late injury and wanted to bring in another player, we couldn’t pick someone who isn’t on that long list.
“So what happened with that initial release, Saskok included some of the names on that long list, even though they couldn’t be picked for various reasons.
“We reached out to some of these guys to Commonwealth Gamesbut some were injured, some were drafted to the Springboks, so we missed them a little, which forced us to go with our regular squad Blitzbox“.
Despite not being able to call up some of the players who have enjoyed stellar United Rugby Championship seasons, Powell has been more than happy with the squad he has chosen and believes they can go all the way.
“Looking back, it actually worked out well for us because these guys played the whole season together. They also had some pretty good success together at the start of the Sevens Series season,” Powell said.
“The last four tournaments didn’t go quite the way we hoped, but if we use our opportunities, we will definitely be in contention for the title.”
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