The Springbok Sevens rugby squad are in good spirits and looking forward to start the season on a positive note when the 2014/15 IRB Sevens World Series campaign kicks off this coming Saturday at the Gold Coast in Australia. The team arrived last Sunday at the Gold Coast, where they are busy fine-tuning their final preparations for the kick-off for this very important season. The top four teams on the final standings of the World Series will gain automatic entry to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, easily making this the most important and competitive season to date.
National coach Neil Powell lead the Springboks Sevens to a very credible second place on the 2013/2014 World Series log and capped a successful first season in charge of the team by steering them to the Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The Blitzbokke, Powell explains, got into their stride straight after their arrival in Australia, “We had our last attacking session on Tuesday and today (Wednesday) the players enjoyed a day off because the last week or so was a very busy time. On Thursday we will have a defensive session and then on Friday we finish preparations with the Captain’s Run. Our overall preparations were not as smoothly as I have hoped for, but that’s the way it goes sometimes and you just have to adopt and manage things accordingly. Some players had minor niggles while Kwagga Smith only joined us on the day of our departure because of his Absa Currie Cup commitments with the Xerox Golden Lions.” According to Powell, the spirit in the squad is very good and the players are really looking forward to play this weekend, “Hopefully we will be able to continue where we left off in Glasgow.”
The Springbok Sevens were given the honour of presenting the Springboks with their match jerseys on the eve of their Test match against the All Blacks. “It was an unbelievable honour for the team to be involved in the Springboks’ jersey handover presentation. We really appreciate the great gesture by Jean (De Villiers, captain) and coach Heyneke (Meyer). All of us had a great time at Ellis Park and their victory made the day extra special, not only for us but for all South Africans,” said Powell.
Photo: On Wednesday, stand-in Springbok Sevens captain Frankie Horne joined the other 15 captains at the official launch function of the World Series at the Gold Coast.