Blitzbokke make three changes for Dubai
The Springbok Sevens have made three changes to their squad for the next two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai and Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth.
Blitzbokke playmaker and former IRB Player of the Year Cecil Afrika, has not yet recovered from the niggling knee injury he sustained at the season-opening Gold Coast Sevens and was therefore not considered for selection.
Afrika is replaced by debutant Kevin Luiters, the promising 20-year old Toyota Free State Cheetahs scrumhalf.
Philip Snyman, the FS Cheetahs outside back who recently re-joined the Springbok Sevens on a two-year contract, returns in place of Ruwellyn Isbell while promising MTN Golden Lions loose forward Warren Whiteley gets his first outing in place of Reuben Johannes.
Johannes and Isbell both had their first taste of World Series action at the Gold Coast, where the Springbok Sevens finished third.
Robert Ebersohn (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) was not considered for selection due to a hamstring injury.
Commenting on the 12-man squad, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu said: “It is obviously disappointing not to have Cecil fit for Dubai. Unfortunately, he has not recovered fully and we will not take any chances.
“Philip and Warren are big boys and both are eager to play for the Springbok Sevens. They have fitted in nicely during our training sessions and I am looking forward to see them in action.”
South Africa share a tough pool challenge with crowd favourites, England, powerful Samoa and the ever-improving Portugal.
The Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens will be played on 30 November and 1 December and followed by the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth on 8 and 9 December.
The team leave for Dubai on Sunday evening from the Cape Town International Airport.
The Springbok Sevens squad (SARU contracted unless indicated otherwise):
1. Chris Dry
2. Philip Snyman
3. Frankie Horne
4. Warren Whiteley (MTN Golden Lions)
5. Cornal Hendricks
6. Kyle Brown - captain
7. Branco du Preez
8. Stephan Dippenaar
9. Paul Delport
10. Kevin Luiters (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
11. Tshotsho Mbovane
12. Steven Hunt