Injured Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown has joined Blitzboks coach Neil Powell in encouraging the team to finish the HSBC Sevens World Series on a high note this coming weekend at the Marriott London Sevens.
The South Africans are currently 19 points behind New Zealand and will be looking for a strong performance to cap off a good season and to consolidate second spot on the World Series standings.
The Springbok Sevens have so far managed to reach five Cup finals this season and emerged victorious in the Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas tournaments.
Unfortunately for the team, however, they have suffered another injury setback with the withdrawal of versatile Stephan Dippenaar due to a knee injury. WJ Strydom, who has two World Series tournaments under his belt, has been named as a replacement.
Furthermore, the team will be without the services of the experienced Brown (recovering from the concussion he suffered in Hong Kong) and Cecil Afrika (groin strain).
Last week in Glasgow the team lost in the Plate semifinal and they will thus have extra motivation to deliver a much improved performance at Twickenham where a sell-out crowd of 70 000 spectators will watch the first day’s play at the home of English rugby.
Meanwhile, Brown was named yesterday as one of four players shortlisted for the 2014 IRB Sevens Player of the Year Award following his consistently superb performances this season.
The regular Springbok Sevens skipper had a special message for his team-mates on the eve of the season finale in London: “It has been a wonderful season thus far and I’m very excited to see the guys close out the season well,” said Brown.
“ It is never easy watching from the couch, but seeing the team run onto the field gets the pulse racing every time, so I'm looking forward to the weekend," added Brown.
Blitzboks coach, Neil Powell, said the team is determined to play much better in London.
“Every player is determined and motivated to lift his game to the standards which saw us reach all those Cup finals and secure tournament victories in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas,” explained Powell.
“The guys want to show their pride for the jersey and play better for themselves, the team and their supporters.”
SuperSport will broadcast all the action live on SS6 on Saturday and SS1 on Sunday.
The Springbok Sevens squad for the London Sevens (World Series tournaments in brackets):
1. Chris Dry (36 caps)
2. Philip Snyman (23)
3. Frankie Horne (captain, 58)
4. Jamba Ulengo (12)
5. Werner Kok (8)
6. Shaun Adendorff (1)
7. Branco du Preez (31)
8. WJ Strydom (2)
9. Justin Geduld (12)
10. Mark Richards (9)
11. Kwagga Smith (5)
12. Seabelo Senatla (9)