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Rugby | Sevens

Blitzbokke call up veteran Powell



Injured Sevens rugby players Okkie Kruger and Stephan Dippenaar have returned home from Britain while veteran Neil Powell has made the journey in the opposite direction to join up with the Blitzbokke in London.

Kruger (hamstring) and Dippenaar (ankle) are the latest casualties in the injury-hit Springbok Sevens.

The team is currently preparing in London for the season-ending Sevens World Series tournament at Twickenham at the weekend.

The South Africans, who lost to Samoa in the Plate semifinal at the Glasgow Sevens on Sunday, have lost stalwarts such as Cecil Afrika, Mark Richards, Paul Delport and Boom Prinsloo to injury.

Powell last played at the Scotland event held at Edinburgh in 2011 and he is now due to play in his 34th World Series tournament at the Marriott London Sevens.

He will be back-up hooker for Kyle Brown, the team captain who has been cleared to play following an ankle niggle which prevented him from playing on the last day in Glasgow.

"Neil will give us some extra options because he is very versatile, but I mainly want to use him as back-up hooker," said Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach.

"We needed to fill that position after Dippenaar's forced return to South Africa. He is a good leader and very good communicator, so in that respect Neil will be a good boost for us," he said.

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