CAPE TOWN – The Blitzboks see every season as a new chapter. And while Neil Powell feels like they are writing a new book entirely this time, he reckons his young team will bring a handy page or two of unpredictability in Sin City next weekend.
The Springbok Sevens side will compete at the Las Vegas and Vancouver legs of the 2018-19 World Sevens Series with a youthful side after injury has played what’s become its regular part in the Blitzboks’ preparations yet again.
There are four changes to the team that finished fifth in Sydney in their previous tournament. Chris Dry was ruled out with a rib injury, while Kyle Brown, the most capped Blitzbok ever, sits out on this trip.
Dewald Human and Zain Davids will also remain in Stellenbosch to continue training with the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad.
The Blitzbok chief included the 20-year-old debutant Sako Makata for the fifth and sixth tournaments, and also recalled Ryan Oosthuizen, Mfundo Ndhlovu and Muller du Plessis to the travelling 13-man squad that will depart for the United States today.
“It’s been a good few weeks. The balance in the team in terms of senior and younger players isn’t as ideal as we’d have liked, but I think there are enough seniors to give the youngsters some guidance,” Powell said at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport yesterday.
“What’s nice about the young guys is the energy they bring. So if we can just use that energy in the right channels, I think it could go well.
“There are still one or two guys we need to give more clarity to with regards to their roles, and the other thing these youngsters bring besides their energy is their unpredictability. I think there are one or two things they can bring that just might surprise the other teams.”
After he missed the trip to Hamilton and Sydney due to a hamstring injury in the LAST training session before departure, Mfundo Ndhlovu has also been named in the #Blitzboks side to go east. Here are some of his skills on display. @CastleFreeSA @FNBSA @ASICS_ZA pic.twitter.com/H4ovuczjE4
— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) February 21, 2019
The Blitzboks have been drawn in Pool D alongside Chile, Japan and England. And while England have caused them a fair share of problems, Powell said they haven’t been focused on the challenges England will bring.
“I don’t think we should think about it to be honest. That was the message we gave each other at the start of the season. We always say every season is a new chapter… this is almost a new book we’re writing,” Powell said.