The South Africa’s Rugby Sevens roster for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics was announced on Tuesday, with the inclusion of one of those who obtained the bronze medal in Rio 2016, Justin Geduld. Among the most experienced, they also appear Branco du Preez and Chris Dy who were not in Brazil.
This trio of players adds 199 World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments to the team, as Blitzbok coach Neil Powell finished his 14-man squad, which includes a reserve.
Du Preez and Dry, who went to Rio as a traveling reserve but did not have the opportunity to play, are the most experienced World Series players in South Africa, with 75 and 74 tournaments respectivelywhile Geduld has played in 50 World Series tournaments.
In fact, every player on Powell’s team has played on the world tour before, Ronald Brown being the only player who has not been international before by the Blitzboks.
Siviwe Soyizwapi has been appointed captain and will regain his leadership of the team, while Ruhan Nel will travel to Tokyo as a substitute, just like Dry did in 2016.
“We looked at the experience and, more particularly, the experience of the sevens when we made the final decision,” Powell explained. “In unique tournaments like this, you need all the experience you can get.”
The team’s final selection was not easy, but Powell will travel to Japan with confidence. “This is the fittest and healthiest team we could put together,” he said. “There was also the issue of combinations and this time we chose six forwards, with Angelo Davids to alternate as one of the hookers and as a wing.
“Ronald Brown, who is the only player with no World Series experience, will cover for our playmakers, while Ruhan Nel will travel as an additional reserve between outside running backs and have a chance if something happens to any of our players before the game. start of the match. .
“We have a good mix, I think. There are guys with a lot of experience like Branco, Chris and Justin, but also younger guys in JC Pretorius and Kurt-Lee Arendse who bring a lot of energy. “
Fourth-seeded South Africa will play in Group C and face Ireland, Kenya and the United States in the group stage, which begins on July 26 at the Tokyo Stadium.
South Africa will spend a week in the city of Kagoshima before the event, where they will fine-tune their preparations.
South Africa squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (with World Series stats):
1- Chris Dry: 74 tournaments, 373 games; 490 points (98 tries)
2- Sako Makata: 9 tournaments, 36 games; 20 points (4 tries)
3- Impi Visser: 13 tournaments, 64 games; 65 points (13 tries)
4- Zain Davids: 22 tournaments, 109 games; 80 points (16 tries)
5- Angelo Davids: 6 tournaments, 32 games; 90 points (18 tries)
6- JC Pretorius: 10 tournaments, 54 games; 120 points (24 tries)
7- Branco du Preez: 75 tournaments, 380 games; 1,355 points (97 tries, 432 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop)
8- Selvyn Davids: 20 tournaments, 102 games; 409 points (42 tries, 98 conversions, 1 penalty)
9- Justin Geduld: 50 tournaments, 260 games; 1034 points (111 tries, 238 conversions, 1 penalty)
10- Kurt-Lee Arendse: 8 tournaments, 37 games; 70 points (14 tries)
11- Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain): 30 tournaments, 157 games; 465 points (93 tries)
12- Stedman Gans: 22 tournaments, 106 games; 170 points (34 tries)
13- Ronald Brown – no Series
14- Ruhan Nel: 30 tournaments, 158 games; 277 points (55 tries, 1 conversion)