Springbok Sevens suffer Afrika blow
Springbok Sevens playmaker Cecil Afrika could miss the opening stanza of the HSBC Sevens World Series after he suffered a broken cheekbone for the second time in less than a year.
Afrika will be out for between six and eight weeks after he suffered the injury during an international pre-season training match against Argentina on Friday in Stellenbosch. He underwent repair surgery over the weekend and could be ruled out of the opening tournaments of the new Series season.
Afrika suffered a similar injury last December against Wales in George at the SA Sevens tournament, which then ruled him out of the New Zealand leg of the popular World Series.
However, despite that setback, he bounced back to help South Africa clinch second spot on the Series log and he also finished as the top points and try scorer on the circuit, a feat which landed him a nomination for IRB Sevens Player of the Year.
Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, described the latest injury setback of his star player as a massive blow for the team.
“We are all gutted for Cecil. He has worked very hard in training with the rest of the squad and was looking towards a good start to the new season. At this stage it is unclear whether he would return in time to be considered for the SA Sevens tournament in Port Elizabeth on 9-10 December. Cecil has already shown he has the determination and strength to overcome adversity and I have no doubt he will work just as hard to come back even stronger,” said Treu.
The Springbok Sevens squad has resumed training at its Stellenbosch base but the full complement of players will only be available at the conclusion of the Absa Currie Cup later this month.
The new HSBC Sevens World Series kicks off on 25-26 November on the Australian Gold Coast, followed by Dubai (2-3 December) and then South Africa a week later.