The Springbok Sevens have called up uncapped Carel Du Preez to replace injured forward Philip Snyman for the Tokyo Sevens tournament which take place this coming weekend. The versatile Snyman sustained a knee ligament injury while playing for the Blitzbokke on Saturday in Hong Kong. Du Preez is currently contracted to the SA Sevens Academy and he has already played a couple of times for the Academy at tournaments in George, Dubai and Harare.
The tall loose forward represented Western Province in the Under-21 Currie Cup competition last year and he has impressed the SA Sevens coaching staff since his fulltime switch to the shorter code at the end of last year. The Japanese tournament is round seven of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which consists of nine rounds overall. South Africa managed to stay in the lead for the coveted Series title after collecting 17 points for their third-place effort in Hong Kong.
They are just two points in front of Hong Kong winners, Fiji, and three ahead of New Zealand. Meanwhile, World Rugby has confirmed the pool draw for the Tokyo Sevens in Japan, round seven of the World Series which takes place on 4 and 5 April. After their third win of the season in Hong Kong, Fiji are top seeds and head Pool A, while runners-up New Zealand, third-placed South Africa and the fourth semi-finalist Samoa lead the remaining pools.
This season carries added significance because the top four ranked sides after the ninth and final round in London in May will qualify directly for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. Current series leaders South Africa will face USA, Canada and Kenya in Pool C, while Samoa will tackle Argentina, France and host nation Japan in Pool D. Fiji were drawn alongside England, Wales and Hong Kong in Pool A at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground in Tokyo.
New Zealand will again face Australia in Pool B along with Scotland and Portugal.