The USA tournament is the fifth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which consists of nine tournaments overall.
Delport sustained the injury during the Plate Final victory over Tonga in Wellington. Luckily for the Blitzbokke, they travelled to New Zealand and the United States with two extra players, which make the call-up for a replacement from home unnecessary.
South Africa Sevens coach, Paul Treu, will most likely announce his 12-man squad late tomorrow afternoon. Chase Minnaar and Renfred Dazel were the non-playing reserves in Wellington and one of them will replace the experienced Delport.
According to Treu his team has settled in nicely after the long trip from Wellington, which included a five hour busy trip to their Las Vegas hotel after their arrival in the United States.
“It is really nice and encouraging to see the players in a positive mood. Las Vegas is one of their favourite venues and you could sense upbeat mood from the moment we arrived here. We have a title to defend and we will give it our best effort,” said Treu.
New Zealand is top of the Series log with 73 point, followed by Fiji on 70, England have 64 and South Africa 61.
IRB opens World Series to more countries
Treu also welcomed the news that more countries would be able to feature in future World Series events. This follows the announcement yesterday by the International Rugby Board of a new qualification pathway for the popular Series as the sport continues to build towards its Olympic Games re-inclusion in 2016.
According to the IRB the number of core teams that participate in each of the events on the World Series will increase from 12 to 15 for the 2012/13 Series. This year’s Hong Kong Sevens on 23-25 March, which is the only event on the calendar to feature 24 teams, will double as the qualification tournament.
Three teams will advance from a dedicated 12-team regional qualifier finale, securing coveted core team status and joining the current core teams – Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, USA, Wales – in competing across all events in the 2012/13 Series.
“I think it is fantastic news for Sevens Rugby. The sport is growing at a tremendous pace across the globe, attracting new fans and participants to the game. What it means for us is that we will have to continue to attract and recruit new players to strengthen our core squad, because other countries will fund Sevens Rugby on a larger scale because of the prospect of Series titles and Olympic participation,” said Treu.