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Rugby | Sevens

Stefan Dippenaar © Gallo Images

Springbok Sevens sign promising trio



Stephan Dippenaar, Bernado Botha and Mark Richards will play for the Springbok Sevens for the next two seasons after they signed agreements with Saru earlier on Thursday at Newlands.

Vodacom Blue Bulls centre Stephan Dippenaar was released by the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd to take up a contract with Saru and will be based at Stellenbosch with the rest of the Springbok Sevens squad.

The 23-year old Dippenaar was contracted to the Pretoria side until 31 October 2012, but after successful negotiations between the Blue Bulls and Saru, he will now be released on October 31, 2011 in order to concentrate on his Sevens career.

He will most likely make his national Sevens debut when the HSBC Sevens World Series kicks off on the Gold Coast in Australia on 25-26 November, while both Botha (signed from the MTN Golden Lions) and Richards (The Sharks) have already played international Sevens for South Africa.

Dippenaar represented the Vodacom Bulls in Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Blue Bulls in Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup action and the Vodacom Blue Bulls junior teams since 2008.

“This is a change of direction in my career and one that I am looking forward to tremendously,” Dippenaar said soon after signing on the dotted line at Saru headquarters in Newlands.

“The opportunity to represent your country remains the ultimate for any player and the opportunity to play Sevens makes me very excited. I had great experiences with the Bulls and will use those memories in this chapter of my career.”

Andy Marinos, the Saru General Manager: Commercial, described the three players as great additions to an already talented group of Springbok Sevens players. “They chose to make Sevens their career for the next two years and we are delighted to have them on board. Sevens is an exciting and growing brand and they will no doubt strengthen the existing Springbok Sevens group even further.”

Saru will name the full Springbok Sevens training squad on Monday.

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