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Rugby | Sevens

Cecil Africa © Gallo Imaes

Springbok Sevens call for back-up



Springbok Sevens playmaker Cecil Afrika is one of three players who joined the squad on Monday for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens this weekend in Port Elizabeth.

Afrika’s inclusion in the final squad is however subject to a fitness test later in the week, to ascertain the readiness of his troublesome knee which prevented him from travelling to Dubai.

Bernado Botha and Cheslin Kolbe are the other two additions to the squad after Kyle Brown, the Blitzbokke captain, was ruled out of action because of a broken ankle.

Coach Paul Treu will name his final 12-man squad on Thursday afternoon at a media conference at the Garden Court Kings Beach hotel in the Friendly City.

South Africa had their first outdoor activity on Monday afternoon since arriving in PE from Dubai on Sunday evening.

Samoa went for a recovery swim at the nearby Summerstrand beach while New Zealand and some other teams did some light gym training.

South Africa opted for a walk through at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, the venue for round three of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking to media on the side of the field, Treu said his troops were glad to be on home soil and were looking forward to playing in front of the South African supporters.

“The Port Elizabeth fans gave us unbelievable support last year and we could feel the buzz in the city upon our arrival last night. The guys realise that they did not play to their potential in Dubai and we will work hard on our mental preparation to hopefully deliver the type of performances that will make our fans proud of us.

“It’s also nice to have Cecil back. He is an inspirational player and a great team member so his presence will no doubt give the boys an extra lift. However, we will not take unnecessary risks with him and he will only play if he is fully fit,” added Treu.

All the international captains will attend a signing session at the Cleary Park Mall on Tuesday at 12:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2), where fans will also be able to view the HSBC Sevens World Series trophy on display.

© SA Rugby

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