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Rugby | Sevens

Bryan Habana © Gallo Images

Habana, Brits may be forced to withdraw from Games



The Springbok Sevens team’s hopes of winning a medal at the Commonwealth Sevens could well have been given a blow if indications that Springbok fifteens stars Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits may have to be forced to withdraw by their respective leagues.

While both Brits’ Saracens club and Habana’s Toulon club have given them the go-ahead to be selected for the Games, it seems now that the Premiership and Top14 may well order both to withdraw as the Games falls within the prescribed off period for European rugby.

As both leagues stipulate a strict four week rest period for players during the off season, it is unlikely they will change their minds and Blitzbok coach Neil Powell may well be forced to look elsewhere to bolster his team.

The duo were named last month as part of Team South Africa’s list of competitors for the games as Powell named a dream team that included fifteens star Cornal Hendricks, Lions captain Warren Whiteley and Province speedster Cheslin Kolbe.

Attempts to confirm the situation have been futile, with Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy saying he has received no documentation to say either player had pulled out, while the South African Rugby Union have referred requests to Sascoc as the Sevens team falls under their umbrella for the Games.

Saracens CEO Eward Griffiths said “we are talking to SA Rugby” when approached for clarification while Toulon have not answered enquiries on the matter.

Both Bok stars have set their sights on going to the Commonwealth games to add another chapter in their impressive rugby careers thus far, and want to represent South Africa in the Olympic Games in 2016.

A ruling on the two is expected soon.

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