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WP secure back-to-back U17 Interprovincial Sevens titles


Western Province on Saturday secured back-to-back South African Rugby Union Under-17 Interprovincial Sevens titles as they defeated SWD 43-7 in the Cup Final at Hoërskool Paarl Gimnasium to complete the competition unbeaten.

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The Pumas won the Plate Final, while Free State won the Bowl Final and KwaZulu-Natal the Shield Final.

Western Province booked their place in the final after registering a morale-boosting 29-0 victory against Western Cape neighbours, Boland, in the Cup Semi-final.

Earlier in the day they defeated Griquas 48-0 in the Cup Quarter-final.

SWD, meanwhile, defeated the Blue Bulls 28-14 in the Cup Quarter-final and then beat the Lions 21-15 in the Cup Semi-final to book their spot in the final.

The final day’s play followed on a thrilling opening day with a series of big wins and a few tight games keeping fans entertained throughout the day.

In total 296 tries and 1852 points were scored in the two days of rugby. Western Province’s Damian Willemse was the highest points scorer in the tournament with 42 points, while his team-mate Muller du Plessis’ seven tries were the highest by a player.

The Cup Final was exciting with SWD taking an early 7-0 lead compliments of a stunning try by WP van Heerden. But Western Province bounced back with a try by Wian van Zyl, who found space out wide, allowing them to level the scores. WP’s Vian Fourie added their second try minutes later as he dashed to the tryline and broke through two tackles to score under the posts. This strong start boosted their confidence as Khanya Nkusane added another try on the stroke of halftime thanks to his raw pace, which earned the hosts an encouraging 19-7 lead.

Western Province continued to run riot on attack in the second half with Damian Willemse, Muller du Plessis, Charl Serdyn and Mike Mavovana scoring to increase their try tally to seven for a 43-7 victory. SWD, meanwhile, were forced to feed off the scraps throughout the match, and with no possession with which to launch an attack, they were unable to make their presence felt.

In the Plate Final, the Pumas struck first against the Blue Bulls with a try by JC Pretorius and they added another a few minutes later compliments of Jaco Joubert to take a 12-0 lead. The Blue Bulls tried hard to force their way into the match as the first half progressed, but their efforts were countered by the effective Pumas defence. The Mpumalanga side continued their dominance after the break with two tries in quick succession to stretch their lead to 24-0. The Bulls hit back a minute before the final whistle with a try by Lincoln Daniels, but this was cancelled out by the Pumas from the kick-off as they ran in yet another try to secure a 29-5 victory and the Plate trophy.

U17 Interprovincial Sevens day-two results:

Bowl Quarter-finals:

Griffons 47 – 15 Namibia

KZN 14 – 19 Limpopo Blue Bulls

Free State 33 – 5 Leopards

EP 7 – 31 Border

Cup Quarter-finals:

Western Province 48 – 0 Griquas

Pumas 17 – 33 Boland

SWD 28 – 14 Blue Bulls

Falcons 5 – 19 Lions

Shield Semi-finals:

Namibia 10 – 31 KZN

Leopards 24 – 10 EP

Bowl Semi-finals:

Griffons 31 – 26 Limpopo Blue Bulls

Free State 26 – 17 Border

Plate Semi-finals:

Griquas 0 – 38 Pumas

Blue Bulls 24 – 12 Falcons

Cup Semi-finals:

Western Province 29 – 0 Boland

SWD 21 – 15 Lions

Shield Final:

KZN 41 – 7 Leopards

Bowl Final:

Griffons 21 – 26 Free State

Plate Final:

Pumas 29 – 5 Blue Bulls

Cup Final:

Western Province 43 – 7 SWD

Blue Bulls men and Border women win SARU Interprovincial 7’s



The Blue Bulls men and Border A women’s teams were crowned the SARU Interprovincial Sevens champions at West Coast School in Saldanha on Saturday after winning the Cup Finals at the annual tournament.

The tournament, which featured 16 men’s teams and 18 women’s teams, started on Friday with the pool stages, which determined which sides advanced to the Plate and Cup semifinals on Saturday.

The Blue Bulls defeated defending champions the Leopards 40-28 in the men’s final to take top honours following their respective victories in the semifinals against Western Province and Boland.

The Border women’s A team, meanwhile, thumped Free State 33-0 in a one-sided final , which capped off a fantastic year for women’s rugby in East London as the 15-a-side team won the SARU Women’s Interprovincial tournament for the second season in a row earlier this year.

In the Plate finals, SWD men pipped the Lions 22-21 and Griquas women registered a narrow 7-5 victory against the SA Students.

Day-two results:

Cup Finals:

Blue Bulls 40 – 28 Leopards (Men)

Border A 33 – 0 Free State (Women)

Plate Finals:

SWD 22 – 21 Lions (Men)

Griquas 7 – 5 SA Students (Women)

Cup Semifinals:

Leopards 14 – 7 Boland (Men)

Blue Bulls 28 – 21 Western Province (Men)

Border A 24 – 0 Blue Bulls (Women)

KZN 14 – 21 Free State (Women)

Plate Semifinals:

Pumas 21 – 24 Lions (Men)

SWD 21 – 7 Lowveld (Men)

Griffons 7 – 15 SA Students (Women)

Griquas 17 – 7 Boland (Women)

Top 7’s players to display their skills in Saldanha



South Africa’s top provincial Sevens players will have the opportunity to show off their skills at the SARU Interprovincial Sevens tournament in Saldanha on Friday and Saturday when they compete for title as champions in the annual event.

The tournament, which will be hosted at West Coast School, features 34 teams of which 16 are men’s teams and 18 women’s teams, each divided into four pools.

The teams’ results on the opening day will determine which sides advance to Cup and Plate sections of the competition on Saturday.

The participating teams and spectators will also be in for a treat as the Springbok Sevens and their female counterparts the Springbok Women’s Sevens will attend the tournament in support of the event and to offer guidance to the players and coaches.

The Leopards men’s side and Eastern Province women took top honours last year and will be among the favourites when they take to the field. But they are expected to face tough competition given the high quality of the opposition teams, as several teams feature top provincial and a few international players.

The men’s division includes former Springbok Sevens players Danwel Demas, Alshaun Bock and Baldwin McBean, while the women’s division features Springbok Women Denita Wentzel, Natasha Hofmeester and Nicolene Barendse.

Western Province will host the Leopards in the opening match in the women’s division at 09h00, while men’s defending champions the Leopards take on Limpopo in the opening game in the men’s division at 09h30.

Friday’s matches will conclude at 18h20.

SARU Weekly Fixtures – 21 – 26 February 2011-1



The truth behind the Kenyan 7’s doping allegations


Kenyan Rugby Union Chairman Mwangi Muthee has stated that the local Anti-Doping Taskforce committee set up by the Kenyan government cobbled together fallacious information.


HSBC 7’s kicks off in Australia


With Olympic qualification looming large, the Springbok Sevens will be eager to kick off their important 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series campaign on a winning note at the Gold Coast tournament this coming weekend.


This weekend sees Australia host the opening round of the Series at the Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, with New Zealand the defending Series and tournament champions heading into the tournament.

“We’re very excited to get started and we’re here, like everyone else to start with a bang,” said New Zealand captain DJ Forbes.

“Everyone knows how important it is going to be with so much at stake. There is nothing in it between ourselves and six or seven other countries so it comes down to consistency at each round.

“The Olympics is at the back of our mind, but we know we need to tick the boxes along the way and the Gold Coast is that first step and hopefully we can get our season off to strong start this weekend.”

Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship & Events, HSBC Holdings plc commented: “As we embark on another HSBC Sevens World Series, it is fantastic to see the growth and development of Sevens Rugby around the world, something that HSBC is very proud to be a part of. I’m sure this Series will provide as much excitement on and off the field as the last for fans and players alike.”

The South Africans will be looking to resume their winning ways at the season-opening event in Australia, especially after their thrilling Gold Medal performance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

Head coach Neil Powell admitted this week that the team’s preparations for the Gold Coast tournament have not been ideal. However, he cautioned his team will be primed to challenge for the tournament title when action kicks off during the early hours of Saturday morning (SA time).

Regular captain and stalwart, forward Kyle Brown, is still busy with his rehabilitation following shoulder surgery, while a few other players were also nursing some injury niggles in the build-up to the tournament. In addition to that, Justin Geduld, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith also played in the Absa Currie Cup, which meant Powell could only get his full squad together on the eve of their departure to Australia.

Veteran forward Frankie Horne will lead the Springbok Sevens in his 60th consecutive World Series match, while Powell also included uncapped Xerox Golden Lions centre Ruhan Nel in his 12-man travelling party.

With Olympic qualification and World Series honours at stake, Horne said: “This is a big season, not only for us, but for everyone.”

He added: “I’m sure we will get a good taste over the weekend of what we can expect during the course of the season. Consistency will be vital, so it will require concentration and focus in each match.”

The South Africans face Wales, American Samoa and Kenya in their pool matches on the opening day’s play on Saturday.

Wales will no doubt offer a formidable challenge in their first match, set to kick-off at 03h18 in the Cbus Super Stadium. This will be followed by two more pool matches, against American Samoa at 06h39 and then Kenya (10h39).

SuperSport will broadcast all the action live on both match days.

The Springbok Sevens team to play at the Gold Coast is (SARU contracted unless indicated otherwise, World Series caps in brackets):

1. Chris Dry (37)

2. Philip Snyman (24)

3. Frankie Horne (59, captain)

4. Kwagga Smith (6)

5. Werner Kok (9)

6. Ruhan Nel (debutant, Xerox Golden Lions)

7. Justin Geduld (13)

8. Branco du Preez (32)

9. Stephan Dippenaar (21)

10. Cecil Afrika (30)

11. Steven Hunt (22)

12. Seabelo Senatla (10)


The Springbok Sevens’ match day one fixtures at the Gold Coast are:

03h18 – SA vs Wales

06h39 – SA vs American Samoa

10h39 – SA vs Kenya

Frankie Horn on 7's
Frankie Horn on 7’s
DJ Forbes on All Blacks 7's and the year that lies ahead
DJ Forbes on All Blacks 7’s and the year that lies ahead
Geraint John new Australian coach on the preparations for this big season ahead
Geraint John new Australian coach on the preparations for this big season ahead

WP take top honours at the SARU Under-18 Sevens


Western Province
Western Province

Western Province on Tuesday won the SARU Under-18 Sevens competition at Hoërskool Monument in Krugersdorp by defeating SWD 31-24 in a thrilling final to cap off an exciting tournament.

Boland won the Plate Final, KwaZulu-Natal the Bowl final and Griquas the Shield final, while the Leopards defeated the Limpopo Blue Bulls to finish the competition in third position.

Western Province recovered from a 26-19 defeat against Free State in their opening match on Monday and worked their way into the final thanks to their impressive attack and tenacious defence.

The team started the final day’s play with an encouraging 32-21 victory against the Blue Bulls in the Cup quarterfinal and then toppled the Limpopo Blue Bulls 29-24 in the semifinal to advance to the final.

SWD, meanwhile, defeated Boland and the Leopards in the Cup quarterfinal and semifinal respectively to book their final berth.

The final was entertaining as Western Province did well to take advantage of the gaps in SWD’s defence thanks to their fantastic support play and raw speed, which they backed up with a solid defensive effort. This earned them four first-half tries to only one by SWD for a 24-7 lead. The second half was tense as the Cape side scored another try, but conceded two shortly after as they were reduced to 14 men for two minutes. But they managed to shut out SWD in the dying minutes to secure the victory.

The semifinal between Western Province and the Limpopo Blue Bulls was also thrilling as the Limpopo side staged a dramatic comeback with two tries in the dying minutes to level the scores at 24-24 at the end of regular time. This forced the match into a sudden-death playoff, and after a few tight exchanges Western Province secured the victory with a stunning try out wide.

SWD, meanwhile, cruised to a 39-0 victory against the Leopards in a one-sided semifinal.

Injured Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown, who mingled with the players and gave the teams advice during the two-day tournament, congratulated Western Province on their victory and praised the participating teams for the high quality of rugby delivered. Such was the thrilling nature of the tournament a total of 152 tries were scored on the A field on Tuesday.

“Well done to Western Province, they played a fantastic brand of rugby throughout the competition and they certainly deserved the victory,” said Brown.

Of the tournament, he said: “I was very impressed with the standard of rugby played by the teams and I believe this tournament will play a vital role in boosting the interest in the sport at school level in future.”

SARU Under-18 Sevens day-two results:

Bowl quarterfinals:

KwaZulu-Natal 33 – 12 Eastern Province

Namibia 28 – 22 Border

Free State 45 – 17 Griffons

Golden Lions 34 – 27 Griquas

Cup quarterfinals:

Valke 10 – 12 Leopards

SWD 17 – 12 Boland

WP 32-21 Blue Bulls

Pumas 12 – 45 Limpopo Blue Bulls

Shield Semifinals:

Eastern Province 0 – 12 Border

Griffons 19 – 54 Griquas

Bowl Semifinals:

KwaZulu-Natal 17 – 12 Namibia

Free State 34 – 12 Golden Lions

Plate Semifinals:

Valke 7 – 22 Boland

Blue Bulls 31 – 19 Pumas

Cup Semifinals:

Leopards 0 – 39 SWD

WP 29 – 24 Limpopo Blue Bulls

Shield Final:

Border 7 – 40 Griquas

Plate 3rd/4th place playoff:

Valke 24 – 19 Pumas

Bowl final:

KwaZulu-Natal 26 – 21 Free State

Plate Final:

Boland 52 – 12 Blue Bulls

Cup 3rd/4th place playoff:

Leopards 31 – 14 Limpopo Blue Bulls

Cup Final:

SWD 24 – 31 WP

Pools drawn for Gold Coast Sevens



Defending champions New Zealand will play Samoa, France and Japan on the first day of the new season, after the pools were drawn for the first round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Australia’s Gold Coast on 11-12 October.

Having finished runners-up to New Zealand in 2013, Australia will be looking to go one better on home soil this season. They line up against Fiji, Scotland and Portugal at the Cbus Super Stadium, formerly known as Skilled Park.


Commonwealth Games gold medallists South Africa will face Kenya, Samoa and American Samoa on day one and in the fourth of the pools England and Argentina will kick off the Series at 09:50. They are joined by USA and Canada with every match this season bringing a new level of passion and excitement as teams vie for the four direct qualification spots for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“The aim for us is to go one better than last year on the Gold Coast to get those all-important World Series championship points,” said Australia’s Cameron Clark, a member of last season’s Sevens Dream Team.

“In order to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, we need to be at the top end of the World Series, playing in Cup quarter finals and semi finals on a regular basis. We ultimately want to be more consistent, something which we seem to be achieving with each passing tournament.

“We’re all looking forward to playing on the Gold Coast. We haven’t played a lot of footy lately and a lot of the squad are jumping out of their skin to get out on the paddock. We’ll have the crowd backing us. Friends and family will be there to support us and it’s always special to play at home.”

Avan Lee, IRB’s General Manager for Sevens said: “The 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series promises to be the most exciting season of Sevens to date. With Olympic qualification at stake, all teams will want to start well in the Gold Coast.

“Reigning Series champions New Zealand and Commonwealth Games winners South Africa might start as favourites but a number of teams like Fiji, England, Australia and Canada are also desperate to gain direct qualification into the 2016 Olympics in Rio”

Port Natal win Plate Final


Port Natal Skool are the Winners of Plate final at the inaugural Clifton College 7’s tournament .


Port Natal Skool received an invitation to be part of the inaugural Clifton College 7’s tournament that took place at Riverside Sports grounds on Saturday 09 August 2014.

The Port Natal team ended 2nd in their pool after beating Hilton College and Kingsway but losing to DHS. Port Natal beat host school Clifton in the semifinal 35 – 0 and was set to play George Campbell in the Plate final after George Campbell beat Westville in their semifinal clash.

The final was a close contested affair between the two schools but in the end the Port Natal Skool team  managed walk away victorious 17 – 12. Congratulations to Karl Terblanche who was awarded one of the players of the tournament and received a sport scholarship to study at UKZN.

DHL WP Sevens team for Limerick, London


Western Province
Western Province

The DHL Western Province Sevens team has been announced for the 2014 World Club Sevens tournaments in Limerick and London, which are set to take place over the next fortnight.

The Province squad, coached once again by Ricky Petersen, will depart for Ireland on Monday ahead of next weekend’s (August 9-10) tournament at Thomond Park. After competing in Limerick against some of the world’s best club teams, DHL WP will then transfer to London for the second edition of the Twickenham World Club Sevens the following weekend (August 16-17).

DHL WP have been drawn into Pool B of the Limerick Sevens alongside the NSW Waratahs (Australia), Vancouver Bears (Canada) and Stade Français (France), before facing up to RC Enisei (Siberia), New York (America) and the winners of England’s Premiership Rugby 7s competition (to be confirmed on Friday, August in Pool A in London.

The Province Sevens team will captained by Durb-Bell’s Ruan Mostert, with Danie Roux, Josh Bassingthwaighte and Armien Bailey all returning from last year’s London trip and experienced 15-man stars, Earl Rose (also a former Sevens Springbok) and Freddie Muller, making a return to WP colours.

“We learnt some big lessons in London last year,” DHL WP Sevens coach Ricky Petersen told “Our preparation has been a lot different, and much smarter, and we aim to give a much better account of ourselves this season.

“The players have worked hard and they’re determined to make DHL Western Province’s presence felt in Limerick and London.” * Visit for more on the Limerick World Club Sevens and for more on the London World Club Sevens.

The 2014 DHL Western Province Sevens team for Limerick and London: 1. Ruan Mostert (Durb-Bell – captain) 2. Earl Johnson (Kuilsriver) 3. Danie Roux (False Bay) 4. Jason Kriel (Durb-Bell) 5. Josh Bassingthwaighte (Maties) 6. Armien Bailey (Helderberg) 7. Anthony Taylor (Young Stars) 8. Ashwill Peters (Sir Lowrians) 9. Frederick Muller (UWC) 10. Errol Jaggers (Helderberg) 11. Iewan Bartels (Hamilton’s) 12. Earl Rose (Sir Lowrians)

MANAGEMENT: Ricky Petersen (Coach) Bobby Joubert (Manager) Riefaat Jappie (Trainer) Peter Jooste (Executive member)

Vodacom Blue Bulls gear up for World Club 7s.


Former Blitzbok Ryan Nell and fifteens Springboks Waylon Murray headlines the Vodacom Blue Bulls Sevens team to participate in the World Club Sevens series, to be played in Ireland and England in August. Nell will also captain the side, while Murray will be vice-captain.

Bulls CC

A number of experienced sevens players have been included in the side, to be coached by David Manuel.

This include former Emerging Springbok Sevens sweeper Andre Warner, former SA Under-18 Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal winner Carel Swart, Springbok Sevens training squad member Nardus van der Walt and former SA Schools wing, Leroy Bitterhout.

The Blue Bulls played in the series last year as well and according to Manuel, will be looking for an improved performance this time around.

“We managed to assemble a very competitive squad and although we will be facing formidable opposition, I am confident that we will do well. We may lack real game time together, but all the guys have played sevens earlier in their careers and have slotted in nicely,” Manuel said.

The tournaments will be held at Thomond Park, Limerick on August 9 & 10th and Twickenham, London on August 16 &17.

Teams from Auckland, New York, Saracens, Waratahs, Vancouver Bears, DHL WP, Stade Francais, Daveta Fiji, San Francisco, Munster and Moscow Saracens will participate in Limerick. The Blue Bulls will play in pool A with Auckland, New York and Saracens.

The team is: Waylon Murray (vc), Hein Viljoen, Niel Meyer, André Warner, Carel Swart, Clayton Stewart, Lood de Jager, Enver Brandt, Leroy Bitterhout, Ryan Nell (c), Nardus van der Walt, Ganfried May.

Management: Xander Janse van Rensburg (Team Manager), Pieter du Plessis (Physiotherapist, Strength and Conditioning), David Manuel (Coach), Werner de Beer (Operational and Logistics).

South Africa win Gold in Sevens


Wing Seabelo Senatla scored 11 tries as South Africa won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games - Photo: IRB / Martin Seras Lima
Wing Seabelo Senatla scored 11 tries as South Africa won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games – Photo: IRB / Martin Seras Lima

What a game of sevens rugby over the whole weekend from the 7’s Springbok.

They came from 7 points behind in the final to beat  New Zeeland the defending Commonwealth and World Champions 17-12. The teams were locked at 7 all at halftime and it was always going to be the team that took their opportunities in the second half that was going to win the gold.

The moment that took it away from New Zeeland was a turnover in their own half which Cecil Africa took and sprinted half the field to score in the corner. New Zeeland came back with a brilliant try to take the score to 17-12. With their usual dominating defence they had New Zeeland on the back foot for rest of the game.

Turning Point
Turning Point

New Zeeland had their last change spoiled by a knock on and all that the Springboks had to do was to take the scrum and kick the ball dead which they did. This was the first time since 7’s Rugby was introduced at the games that New Zeeland will not take away the Gold Medal.

South Africa went through the whole weekend without any slip-ups and score over a 106 points in the pool games with no point conceded. This should South Africans 7’s Springboks a step in the right direction for their aspirations to win Gold at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Gold Winners  Photo by: AP
Gold Winners
Photo by: AP
Gold Winners!!
Gold Winners!! 

Kyle Brown nominated for IRB Award



Springbok Sevens captain, Kyle Brown, is one of four players nominated for the coveted 2014 IRB Sevens Player of the Year Award, the International Rugby Board announced on Wednesday.

A shortlist of four nominees – one Englishman, one Fijian, one New Zealander and one South African – has been unveiled for the 2014 IRB Sevens Player of the Year Award, in association with HSBC. Ahead of the final round of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series in London, Brown (South Africa), Tim Mikkelson (New Zealand), Tom Mitchell (England) and Samisoni Viriviri (Fiji) have been nominated for the award.

The outstanding quartet were voted by the management teams of the 15 core sides who compete at all nine rounds of the World Series. The winner will be announced at a function following the final round of the Series, the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham on 10-11 May.

Kyle Brown, SA – As captain of South Africa, Brown has led the Springbok Sevens to Cup wins in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas this season, and six top-four finishes. A flanker in the 15-man game, Brown’s versatility and strength allows him to play hooker in Sevens, a position he has made his own, and he is a fine ambassador for the game.

Tim Mikkelson, NZ – The reigning IRB Sevens Player of the year, Mikkelson makes the shortlist on the back of another supremely consistent season for champions elect, New Zealand. Able to play in the forwards and across the backline, Mikkelson’s fitness levels make him one of the best support players in the game and he is second only to Viriviri in the try-scoring charts.

Tom Mitchell, ENG – Handed the England captaincy by new coach Simon Amor, Mitchell has led by example and inspired his side to six top-four finishes so far. His restarts are key to England’s ball-winning capabilities and he is also the season’s top point-scorer with 310.

Samisoni Viriviri, FIJ – In the mould of all the greatest Fijian flyers, Samisoni Viriviri has electric pace and a sharp eye for the line. His clinical finishing has helped Fiji to wins in Dubai and Tokyo and he scores at the rate of one try per game, with 48 so far this season.

IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: “These four players have performed supremely this season and to be nominated by the teams you have played against is the highest accolade you can receive as a player.

“This shows just how significant their individual contributions have been for their teams and I would like to thank them and all the rest of the players for their dedication this season, and for making the HSBC Sevens World Series such a huge success.”

The men’s Sevens is the first IRB Award to be announced in 2014 and a video news release will be made available to download via FTP after the presentation. VNR details will be made available via IRB media release.

IRB Sevens Player of the Year – Roll of honour

2013 Tim Mikkelson, New Zealand

2012 Tomasi Cama, New Zealand

2011 Cecil Afrika, South Africa

2010 Mikaele Pesamino, Samoa

2009 Ollie Phillips, England

2008 DJ Forbes, New Zealand

2007 Afeleke Pelenise, New Zealand

2006 Uale Mai, Samoa

2005 Orene Ai’i, New Zealand

2004 Simon Amor, England

BlitzBokke eye Kiwi scalps



South Africa may be faced with a near impossible task of overhauling New Zealand, but they have not given up hope of winning the IRB Sevens World Series.

Heading into this weekend’s Glasgow leg of the World Series the BlitzBokke are seven points behind Series leaders New Zealand.

Stalwart Frankie Horne, who will make a world record 58th consecutive tournament appearance in Glasgow on Saturday, admitted they shot themselves in the foot in Hong Kong at the end of March.

After reaching the Final in five consecutive tournaments – and winning two of them – South Africa were two points ahead of the Kiwis and on course to win only their second-ever World Series title.

However, they lost to England in the quarterfinals in Hong Kong, and with New Zealand beating the English in the Final, the BlitzBokke now find themselves with plenty of ground to make up.

Horne, speaking to rugby365 ahead of the team’s departure for Glasgow, said they do have a chance to rectify that.

“We are seven points behind [series leaders New Zealand], which may be just too much,” Horne said, adding that the consistency shown by both New Zealand and South African this season will make it tough to close the gap.

“However, it could be a blessing in disguise that New Zealand are in our pool, as one of us could crack the other [in the pool game],” the veteran forward said.

“This, Glasgow, tournament will determine where we finish and if we both survive the pool stages we [NZ and SA] could meet each other in the Final.”

He said their failure to advance to the Final in Hong Kong can be put down to the failure to use their opportunities and they also just didn’t click as a team.

“We have worked on a few things in the last few weeks and hopefully it will pay dividends in Glasgow,” Horne told rugby365.

“We simply have to go out and do out best.”

The 31-year-old, who will captain the BlitzBokke in the absence of injured skipper Kyle Brown, played down his world record – the only player with more than 50 consecutive tournament appearances.

“It has been with grace from above and plenty of stubbornness that the body keeps going,” he said, adding that he doesn’t really think about the record.

“It is not something you say to yourself: ‘I want to play 50 or 100 tournaments.’

“You simply world for the team tournament after tournament.”

He said that if his body can last the pace for the next two years he would like to be part of the BlitzBokke squad when rugby makes a return to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Glasgow pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa, Portugal
Pool B: England, Canada, France, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Wales, Argentina, Kenya
Pool D: Australia, United States, Scotland, Spain

Source: Rugby365

Seven Circus moves to Hong Kong


IRB_Sevens-300x186Hong Kong remains the ultimate destination for Sevens players and enthusiasts alike, with the advent of double-dipping – two tournaments in one – making it an even more appealing stopover.

Round Seven of the IRB Sevens World Series will see South Africa and New Zealand – the current pace setters – glance nervously over their shoulders at the hard-chasing Fijians.

However, for the second year running Hong Kong welcomes 28 teams – with 16 to play for the famous old Cup trophy and points towards the World Series, and the other 12 bidding to win the separate qualifier trophy and take the one place on offer as a core team for the 2014/15 Series.

In the main Cup draw, with two tournament wins apiece in this season’s IRB Sevens World Series, South Africa, New Zealand and Fiji are the front-runners for major Cup honours at So Kon Po.

Fiji have won 14 times in Hong Kong, including last year, and also took the most recent Cup title with a superb win over South Africa at the Tokyo Sevens last Sunday.

South Africa have never won the Hong Kong title, but are currently top of the Series standings with 116 points, two ahead of New Zealand – with Fiji in third place on 95 and England fourth on 85.

Having finished in the top two of Asia’s own regional Sevens competition, host Hong Kong is one of those 12 vying nations and harbours serious ambition to join the Series.

“There’s a long way to go but qualifying as a core team would accelerate the learning in Hong Kong by playing at that competitive level more often,” said Hong Kong’s Sevens coach Gareth Baber

“It would also accelerate the numbers coming into the game, and make them realise as well that there’s a potential to be an international athlete playing Rugby Sevens for Hong Kong,” Baber added.

Hong Kong start in pool play with matches against Italy, Tunisia and American Samoa. Russia are drawn with Zimbabwe, China and Barbados, while Asia’s top-ranked side Japan starts in a group with Cook Islands, Uruguay and Trinidad & Tobago.

“We have to treat this like any other event. I know there’s a lot of emotion wrapped around it, and there’s a big party atmosphere, but the message going out loud and clear to the players is that we need consistency in what we do and not to get carried away with the emotion.

“You need to play with emotion as a rugby player, but it’s tempering that with the ability to think clearly and do consistently what you do on the training paddock.

“I’m confident my players can make that step up (from failing to qualify as a core team last year), but there are a number of other teams who are going to be thinking exactly the same. We have a competition on our hands, and that’s why everyone is interested in it.”

Pool A: Fiji, Kenya, Wales, Sri Lanka
Pool B: South Africa, Australia, France, Spain
Pool C: England, Canada, Argentina, Portugal
Pool D: New Zealand, United States, Scotland, Samoa

(Kick-off is local time – GMT plus eight hours)

Day One – Friday, March 28
Match 1: United States v Samoa, 18.24
Match 2: Canada v Portugal, 18.46
Match 3: Australia v Spain, 19.08
Match 4: Kenya v Sri Lanka, 19.30
Match 5: New Zealand v Scotland, 20.20
Match 6: England v Argentina, 20.42
Match 7: South Africa v France, 21.04
Match 8: Fiji v Wales, 21.26
Match 9: New Zealand v Samoa, 11.12
Match 10: United States v Scotland, 11.34
Match 11: England v Portugal, 11.56
Match 12: Canada v Argentina, 12.18
Match 13: South Africa v Spain, 12.40
Match 14: Australia v France, 13.02
Match 15: Fiji v Sri Lanka, 13.24
Match 16: Kenya v Wales, 13.46
Match 17: Scotland v Samoa, 15.14
Match 18: Argentina v Portugal, 15.36
Match 19: France v Spain, 15.58
Match 20: Wales v Sri Lanka, 16.20
Match 21: New Zealand v United States, 18.10
Match 22: England v Canada, 18.32
Match 23: South Africa v Australia, 18.54
Match 24: Fiji v Kenya, 19.16

World Series core team qualifier
Pool E: Russia, Zimbabwe, Chile, Barbados
Pool F: Hong Kong, Italy, Tunisia, American Samoa
Pool G: Japan, Cook Islands, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago

Tokyo IRB 7’s


IRB_Sevens-300x186 South Africa head into this weekend’s Tokyo tournament only two points behind IRB Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand.

With try-scoring machine Seabelo Senatla back in the team, the side will be aiming to reclaim the Series lead at the Prince Chichibu Stadium. South Africa lost to New Zealand in the Final of the Wellington leg the last time the two teams met and that result also handed the World Series lead back to their rivals. Should the Springboks defend the title they won 12 months ago in Tokyo, it would allow them to reclaim pole position on the points table.

Speaking to the Japanese media ahead of the event, South Africa Sevens coach Neil Powell said his charges have no wish to become too caught up in the World Series title race.

“The squad is really looking forward to their title defence this weekend in Tokyo,” said Powell. He added he would seek to use the experience gained by his team at the same venue last year to assist them in their challenge of defending their title. “We will fall back on the guys that were here last year, and especially the management, considering I have never played or coached here before. We must not get too caught up on the table and the log points because we will place too much pressure on ourselves. It is all about the process, and if we do things well on the field the outcomes will follow,” according to Powell.

Despite going down to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup Final, the Springbok Sevens approach their Tokyo challenge with a rich vein of good form. After their fourth place at the season-opening tournament in Australia, South Africa have reached the last four Cup finals this season and their mantra has been consistency. While many think the season boils down to a two-horse race, Powell admits Fiji and England could still upset the apple cart with big performances in the remaining four rounds.

“Fiji is a great team and England are playing some good rugby at the moment,” added Powell.

“I think any of us could (still) win the Series. If either New Zealand or us slip up in one of the tournaments, the other sides will have a chance, so it is important to tick that consistency box. We want to reach at least the semi-finals and hopefully we can do that here as well as next week in Hong Kong.”

Junior Springbok Senatla will provide extra speed in an already quick backline, while Justin Geduld takes over the flyhalf duties in place of Cecil Afrika who was unable to travel to the Far East because of a hamstring strain.


Pool A: New Zealand, Canada, Wales, Portugal
Pool B: South Africa, Argentina, Kenya, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Samoa, France, United States
Pool D: England, Australia, Scotland, Spain

Sevens Final: All Blacks 21, Springboks 0


IRB_Sevens-300x186The Springbok Sevens side will face New Zealand in a final once again as they attempt to win their third consecutive title on this year’s HSBC World Series.

According to the website, the Blitzbokke overcame a significant psychological hurdle as they downed Fiji in the rain 10-0 to set up the third consecutive showdown with the All Blacks – this time in their own backyard – in the Wellington Sevens tournament Saturday.

While Neil Powell’s team may have won the finals in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas, this one will be up against a fiercely partisan crowd and a New Zealand side bent on revenge to reverse a five game losing streak against the Blitzbokke.

It will also give the winner the top spot on the World Series rankings – as South Africa currently lead the Kiwis by one point.

But while all eyes will focus on the showdown, which will take place at 10:30, Powell will already be pleased with the consistency that the side has shown thus far, but also the fact that they managed to rattle the Fijian side – one which they struggle against.

To be honest, while Powell’s team have been accurate and have won through to the final, it has been anything but pretty. Both their 10-0 victories over Australia in the quarterfinals and Fiji in the semis were built on hard work and determination, and solid defence which stifled the other two sides.

This time it was Sampie Mastriet and Cecil Afrika who scored to seal the game, but in the rain and wet, it was hardly a classic.

Still, Powell’s side are in their fourth final in five tournaments, a consistency he set as a goal for the team when he took over.

New Zealand won through to the final by demolishing defending champions England 26-0 in an ill-

7’s Qualification for 2016 Olympic Games



The IRB have decided on the qualification criteria for all countries to the Olympic Games in Rio.

  • South Africa can qualify with Top 4 finish in 2014/15 World Series
  • Brazil Men and Women guaranteed 2016 Rugby Sevens Place

The South African Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams can qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio if they can secure a top four finish in their respective 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series competitions.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) confirmed on Thursday how Olympic qualification for 2016 in Brazil would work.

This follows ratification by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the inaugural Rugby Sevens qualification process that will feature a blend of the existing men’s and women’s Series structures, regional competitions and a world play-off, ensuring universal representation and the participation of the best teams and players.

Under the qualification structure for the men’s competition, four nations will qualify from the 2014/15 Sevens World Series, one nation from each of the six IRB regional competitions, one from the world play-off and automatic qualification for Brazil.

The women will follow a similar format with four teams confirmed via the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, six from the regional competitions, the world play-off winner and automatic qualification for Brazil.

South Africa is currently leading the men’s World Series standings by a slender margin over rivals New Zealand. However, qualification for the much anticipated 2016 Rio Olympics will no doubt intensify closer to the global sporting event, to be held just over two years from now. The Springbok Sevens will thus be aiming to clinch a top four finish on the 2014/15 World Series standings, which should guarantee them Olympic qualification.

The Springbok Women Sevens, meanwhile, finished the 2012/2013 World Series in eighth position, however, they remain outside of the core group featuring on the 2013/2014 circuit. The women, however, will be looking to secure a place in the core group in the 2014/2015 season following SARU’s decision to award contracts to 15 players in the elite Sevens Women’s squad.

The IRB’s announcement that the host nation’s men’s and women’s teams will automatically qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Rugby Sevens events underscores the growing strength of Rugby in Brazil and the IRB’s commitment to further drive growth of the sport across a nation where Rugby participation has grown by more than 25% since 2011.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The decision to include Brazil is good for Rugby, good for Brazil and good for the Games. Rugby in Brazil is experiencing rapid growth and inclusion will generate further impetus and excitement, while giving the Brazilian Rugby family and sports fans across the nation something really special to look forward to at their home Olympic Games.

“We are excited and honoured for Rugby Sevens to be making its Olympic Games debut in Rio and believe that the Games will be great for Rugby and Rugby will be great for the Games. We are working in partnership with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the IOC to deliver a Rugby Sevens event that delivers outstanding competition, showcases our most skilful players, delivers a very special vibrant atmosphere and engages new and young audiences around the world.”

According to Mr. Lapasset The IRB will continue to collaborate with the Brazil Rugby Union and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to further the profile and reach of the Game in Brazil in the countdown to the Games.

Mr. Lapasset added: “We are delighted to be announcing a truly global qualification structure that presents the opportunity for all our Member Unions to participate, ensures at least one team from each IRB region qualifies and delivers the best teams and players to ensure Rugby Sevens contributes significantly to the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“This structure comes with the full support of our national Member Unions, who are excited at the prospect of competing on the world’s greatest sporting stage and showcasing Rugby Sevens to new audiences in Brazil and around the world.”


Springbok Sevens chase unique third title



The Springbok Sevens team head into the weekend’s Wellington Sevens in New Zealand looking for a third successive tournament title in what would be a first for the South Africans.

The last time any team could win three consecutive tournaments on the HSBC Sevens World Series, was in 2010 when Samoa took the honours in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong.

Thanks to their recent Cup victories in Las Vegas and Port Elizabeth, South Africa currently enjoys a slender one point lead over HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand at the top of the standings.

A much sought after win in Wellington will be the Springbok Sevens’ third Cup victory of this season, equaling their achievement from the 2012/13 season.

South Africa’s last Cup success in New Zealand was 12 years ago, and on Friday the Springbok Sevens will have to navigate a strong pool consisting of Wales, Portugal and defending tournament champions England, before they can turn their attention to the knockout stages.

After securing fourth place at the season opening Gold Coast tournament in Australia, the Springbok Sevens struck a rich vein of form which saw them finish runners-up in Dubai before their successive wins in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas.

On Wednesday however, SA Sevens coach Neil Powell and captain Kyle Brown both cautioned against the dangers of complacency in the New Zealand capital, where the hosts and the likes of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will no doubt enjoy huge crowd support.

Powell, in his first season as head coach of the Springbok Sevens, said the team has worked hard in training in preparation for another tough tournament.

“Although we are thankful for the Cup win in Vegas, we will not get carried away or lose focus,” said Powell. “We managed to achieve all our goals (in Las Vegas), but that event is now behind us and we have to be ready from the first whistle in Wellington.”

The USA tournament, according to Powell, was an extremely physical affair and the team was therefore grateful for the extra week’s rest, which also gave injury replacements Jamba Ulengo and Kwagga Smith enough time to hook up with the squad in New Zealand.

“We used the extra week as a recovery period and then made sure we hit the deck hard on the training field after arriving in Wellington. Jamba and Kwagga have slotted in well since joining us and squad is forward to the challenge,” said Powell.

Powell’s caution was echoed by his captain.

“This weekend it’s all about consistency and for the guys to be humbled and grounded,” explained Brown during the annual street parade in Wellington on Wednesday. “We are not yet halfway through the season and the end hasn’t been written so we know we still have a lot of work to do, which continues here in Wellington.”

Brown and his teammates are also well aware of how tough it will be to win on New Zealand soil: “We know it is a very difficult tournament and obviously we have not won here since 2002, so we are trying to put more emphasis on it.

“We know for any side to win it will be tough, and we have a tough day one with matches against Wales against which is always a tough game, Portugal and ending up with England.

“But just like at any other tournament we will focus on our first match first, against Wales, and that will be a good knockout but if we can come unscathed out of the pool, who knows?”

So far this season, the Springbok Sevens have built their game around brilliant defence – they conceded only 14 points en route to victory on the narrow field at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas. It comes as no surprise, then, that Brown believes defence will win the tournament in Wellington.

“It will be different for all the teams this weekend, moving from the narrow pitch in Vegas to the wider one here in Wellington. There will be more emphasis on defence and teams will also have to be smarter in attack, but we are looking forward to it,” said Brown.

“We always talk about how you can get by with solid attack alone on day one but this tournament will be won by defence and we will keep working hard on that and pushing that culture to make sure we stay solid enough to hopefully win another title.”

Kenya, coached by former Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu, was drawn in a tough pool which consists of powerful Samoa, Australia and Tonga.

The Springbok Sevens’ Pool A fixtures on Friday (SA times, live on SS):

03h24: Wales

06h12: Portugal

10h34: England

The Springbok Sevens squad for Wellington (with number of World Series tournaments in brackets):

Kyle Brown (captain, 37)

Chris Dry (32)

Philip Snyman (19)

Frankie Horne (54)

Kwagga Smith (1)

Werner Kok (4)

Branco du Preez (27)

Stephan Dippenaar (17)

Justin Geduld (8)

Cecil Afrika (28)

Sampie Mastriet (6)

Jamba Ulengo (8)

The current HSBC Sevens World Series Standings:

1. South Africa    78

2. New Zealand   77

3. Fiji                     56

4. England            53

5. Samoa               47

The pools draw for Round 5 in Wellington are:

Group A – South Africa, England, Wales, Portugal

Group B –  New Zealand, France, Fiji, Spain

Group C –  Canada, Argentina, Scotland, USA

Group D –  Samoa, Australia, Kenya, Tonga

Two changes for Wellington Sevens



The injured Springbok Sevens duo of Seabelo Senatla and Rosko Specman will return to South Africa and will be replaced by Jamba Ulengo and Kwagga Smith for the Wellington Sevens on 7 – 8 February, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Thursday.

The two wings sustained ankle injuries during last weekend’s Las Vegas Sevens, where the Bok Sevens team won the tournament title for a second successive year.  Smith and Ulengo will join the squad on Saturday.

Justin Geduld (knee) and Sampie Mastriet (ankle) also suffered minor niggles in Las Vegas but they should be ready for selection for next weekend’s action in the New Zealand capital.

Senatla, despite not playing in the Cup final against New Zealand, was the top try scorer in Las Vegas with six tries in his first World Series outing of the season after he had missed the previous three rounds because of a lower back injury.

Specman, the Steval Pumas wing, made his full Springbok Sevens debut in the USA. The two injured players will arrive back in South Africa on Saturday.

Speaking from Las Vegas where the team spent a few extra days before flying out to New Zealand, Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell said the team is looking forward to maintain their good form and consistency.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, speaking from Las Vegas where the team spent a few extra days before flying out to New Zealand, said he was fortunate to be able to call on two good replacements thanks to the overall strength of the Springbok Sevens’ wider training group: “Jamba was perhaps unlucky to lose out on selection for Las Vegas after a good tournament in PE, while Kwagga has a very good work rate and should be able to slot in easily amongst the other more experienced forwards.”

Powell said he would move impressive and versatile youngster Werner Kok out to wing while adding Junior Springbok flanker Smith to the forwards. Kok has impressed since making his Bok Sevens debut only four tournaments ago and it was his power run and try that clinched the Cup against NZ in Las Vegas.

Powell added: “Our main goal this year is to establish a good level of consistency by reaching the Cup semi-final of each tournament,” said Powell. “The players have responded well so far to the challenge and I am very pleased that we are currently on track.”

South Africa finished fourth at the Gold Coast, second in Dubai and they were crowned champions in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas, lifting them to the top of the World Series standings.

The Bok Sevens’ Pool A opponents next Friday in Wellington are Wales, Portugal and England.

The revised Springbok Sevens squad for Wellington (with no of tournaments in brackets):


Kyle Brown (captain, 37)

Chris Dry (32)

Philip Snyman (19)

Frankie Horne (54)

Kwagga Smith (1)

Werner Kok (4)

Branco du Preez (27)

Stephan Dippenaar (17)

Justin Geduld (8)

Cecil Afrika (28)

Sampie Mastriet (6)

Jamba Ulengo  (7)

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

Blitzbokke triumph in Las Vegas



South Africa successfully defended their Las Vegas Sevens title when they defeated New Zealand 14-7 in another dramatic and tense Cup final between the two rugby rivals in the early hours of Monday morning (SA time).

The teams were tied 7-all at half-time after Scott Curry had opened the scoring for New Zealand and Branco du Preez replied for the Blitzbokke.

Werner Kok, who had an impressive tournament, scored the winning try soon after replacing the injured Justin Geduld in the second half.

The win also gave South Africa a slender lead on the HSBC Sevens World Series standings. They trailed New Zealand by two points at the start of the tournament, but a second successive win in as many World Series events in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas saw South Africa climbed to the top of the log on 78 points.

The Springbok Sevens enjoyed a lot of support from the appreciative crowd in the Sam Boyd Stadium and the entire team and management were mobbed by jubilant fans afterwards on the field immediately after the final whistle.

The victory was especially significant for the South Africans, who conceded only two tries during the entire tournament and managed to stay unbeaten in their successful march to a third win in four years in Las Vegas.  They had to overcome the loss of ace try scorer Seabelo Senatla, who was ruled out of action because of an ankle injury, while Geduld and speedster Sampie Mastriet both left the Cup final action early because of injury.

Afterwards, a jubilant South Africa Sevens coach, Neil Powell, said: “It was very intense and what a gutsy performance that was from the guys. They all played for each other. Just the way they showed the commitment was tremendous. There is still a long way to go to keep us at the top.”

Under the guidance of Powell, who took over the coaching duties from long-serving Paul Treu at the beginning of the season, South Africa have now reached three Cup finals in a row this season, winning titles in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas.

The Blitzbokke previously won the Las Vegas title in 2011 and 2013.

Earlier, they qualified for the final after beating the powerful outfit of Samoa 14-0 in their semi-final clash. They defeated Argentina 36-0 in a splendid display of attacking skill and great defence in the quarterfinals.

The 16 teams now travel to Wellington in New Zealand for Round 5 of the World Series, which takes place on 7-8 February at the Westpac Stadium.

The final results in Las Vegas:

Cup: South Africa 14, New Zealand 7

3rd place playoff: Canada 22, Samoa 19

Plate: England 26, Australia 24

Bowl: Fiji 35, Kenya 0

Shield    USA 31, Spain 0

The HSBC Sevens World Series Standings after Round 4:

1. South Africa 78

2. New Zealand 77

3. Fiji 56

4. England 53

5. Samoa 47

Source: Sport24

No way past Blitzbokke in Vegas



The Blitzbokke made a convincing start to their Las Vegas Sevens title defence by not conceding a single point on the opening day.

Seabelo Senatla returned from injury to score four tries, while Branco du Preez and Justin Geduld both scored three tries as they beat Wales 43-0 in their first match and Canada 29-0.

Mathematically the Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens champions can still miss out on the quarterfinals, but they have all but secured a place should they lose to Kenya and Canada beat Wales.

At the end of an enthralling Day One of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, Round Four of the Sevens World Series, six of the Cup quarterfinal spots are still up for grabs going into the third round of pool matches on Day Two.

Up until the 16th and final match of the day all eight were available, but France broke the USA’s hearts with a narrow 14-12 victory to book their place in the Cup quarterfinals.

Matt Hawkins’ side will now compete in the Bowl after an earlier narrow 19-12 defeat at the hands of Argentina, with Los Pumas also progressing to the Cup and ending day one with a 100% record.

Current Series leaders New Zealand and Samoa also won both of their two matches but it was defending champions South Africa that impressed the most scoring no fewer than 72 unanswered points.

Kenya, having lost 17-15 to Canada in their first match, went on to beat Wales 21-17 with Biko Adema scoring 11 points and captain Collins Injera, who was in inspired form, scoring the winning try for Paul Treu’s side.

In Pool B it had looked as though the Gold Coast champions New Zealand and Dubai champions Fiji were set to qualify but Cameron Clark, returning to the Australian side from injury, stepped up to kick a winning drop goal penalty with the last play of the match to beat Fiji 22-21 and throw the pool wide open.

Forwards Sam Dickson and Scott Curry both scored in New Zealand’s 31-7 win against Australia, before Tim Mikkelson added a brace and a conversion in their 26-5 defeat of Scotland as the current Series leaders look to build on their two point lead at the top of the standings in Las Vegas.

England lost to Samoa 22-19 in their first match, but 16 points from captain Tom Mitchell ensured they impressively won their second match 54-0 against Portugal in Pool C and they sit on four points alongside Portugal, while Viliamu Punivalu’s side have six.

The hosts, USA, were unfortunate to lose to Argentina 19-12 in their opening match, despite an impressive try from Carlin Isles, and 14-12 against France in the final match of the day with Les Bleus earlier beating Spain 47-0 thanks to 18 points from Stephen Paraz to progress from Pool D.

Spain, Wales, Scotland and Uruguay will join the USA in the Bowl. Uruguay, competing in their first World Series event of the Series as the only non core side, and having just booked their place at the core team qualifier in Hong Kong in March almost upset the apple cart even further in Las Vegas, leading Samoa, winner of this tournament in 2010 and 2012, 12-5 at half time before losing 17-12.

Day One results:

South Africa 43-0 Wales
Canada 17-15 Kenya
New Zealand 31-7 Australia
Fiji 24-0 Scotland
Samoa 22-19 England
Portugal 19-5 Uruguay
Argentina 19-12 United States
France 47-0 Spain
South Africa 29-0 Canada
Kenya 21-17 Wales
New Zealand 26-5 Scotland
Australia 22-21 Fiji
Samoa 17-12 Uruguay
England 54-0 Portugal
Argentina 33-5 Spain
France 14-12 USA

Day Two fixtures:

Wales v Canada
Australia v Scotland
England v Uruguay
Argentina v France
Samoa v Portugal
New Zealand v Fiji
South Africa v Kenya
United States v Spain

Source: Rugby365

Preview: USA Sevens



The Springbok Sevens will be aiming for a third title in four years at the Las Vegas Sevens this weekend.

The BlitzBokke head into the fourth round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Las Vegas off the back of an emotional Cup win on home soil in December.

Just days after the sad passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, the BlitzBokke came from 0-14 behind to beat New Zealand 17-14 and lift their first Cup of the season at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, sparking unforgettable scenes.

Kyle Brown, who lifted the Cup as captain, believes that triumph has boosted his side’s morale ahead of this weekend’s tournament.

“It was an incredible weekend to be involved with,” said Brown, who is set to play in his 37th world series event in Las Vegas. “We woke up on Friday and heard the sad news of Tata Madiba’s passing and it was moving to say the least.

“To be involved in a weekend like that, where everything fell into place and worked out as it did, it was really something incredible and one of those unforgettable weekends.

“It didn’t really sink in for a couple of weeks when we met people who had seen it, watched it on TV, those who helped and enjoyed the weekend with us. That made me feel really special and realise it was something different and incredible for our team.

“I think getting a tournament win anywhere is great for morale and great for us in terms of what we’re trying to do in the circuit.”

That win means Brown and his teammates now sit just two points behind the reigning series champions and leaders New Zealand and are the only side other than New Zealand to have finished in the top four at each of the first three rounds.

It is that consistency which South Africa are looking for this season and South Africa have a rich history at the Sam Boyd Stadium, having won two of the last three tournaments in Las Vegas.

The South Africans, however, will first have to navigate a strong Pool A which consists of Wales, Canada and Kenya.

Much has been made about the size of the field, which is not as wide as the usual pitch layout. However, according to Brown, the layout will not give any team a specific advantage.

The Springbok Sevens captain wants the team to maintain their good showing on defence. “We have worked really hard on our defensive approach because that is such a key aspect of the game.

“The world series is an extremely tough competition, which requires full focus and commitment in every match, whether you’re defending or attacking,” explains Brown.

Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, made three changes to the squad that won in Port Elizabeth, with Rosko Specman, Stephan Dippenaar and Seabelo Senatla replacing Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), Albertus “Kwagga” Smith (Golden Lions) and Steven Hunt respectively.

Junior Springbok speedster Senatla returns from injury for his first world series outing of the season, while Pumas flyer Specman is set to make his world series debut after impressing in recent tournaments for the South African Sevens Academy squad.

Brown said their goal is to reach the last four. “The win in PE gave the team a huge boost and we want to keep our consistency by reaching the last four in the Cup competition. If we can do that then we will stay in touch with the front-runners on the log table.

“We have a great squad with some incredible players on the fringes that are knocking hard on the door. I’m sure that makes selection a lovely nightmare for the coach, but it also means that you have to work incredibly hard to keep your place in the squad.”

Pool A: South Africa, Kenya, Wales, Canada
Pool B: New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Scotland
Pool C: Samoa, Portugal, England, Uruguay
Pool D: Argentina, France, United States, Spain

Pool stage schedule:
(Kick-off times are local – GMT minus eight hours)

Friday, February 24

Match 1: South Africa v Wales, 16.00 (Saturday, February 25; 02.00 SA time)
Match 2: Kenya v Canada, 16.22
Match 3: New Zealand v Australia, 16.44
Match 4: Fiji v Scotland, 17.06
Match 5: Samoa v England, 17.28
Match 6: Portugal v Uruguay 17.50
Match 7: Argentina v United States, 18.12
Match 8: France v Spain, 18.34
Match 9: South Africa v Canada, 18.56 (Saturday, February 25; 04.56 SA time)
Match 10: Kenya v Wales, 19.18
Match 11: New Zealand v Scotland, 19.40
Match 12: Fiji v Australia, 20.02
Match 13: Samoa v Uruguay, 20.24
Match 14: Portugal v England, 20.46
Match 15: Argentina v Spain, 21.08
Match 16: France v United States, 21.30

Saturday, February 25

Match 17: Wales v Canada, 12.00
Match 18: Australia v Scotland, 12.22
Match 19: England v Uruguay, 12.44
Match 20: Argentina v France, 13.06
Match 21: Samoa v Portugal, 13.28
Match 22: New Zealand v Fiji, 13.50
Match 23: South Africa v Kenya, 14.12 (Sunday, February 26; 00.12 SA time)
Match 24: United States v Spain, 14.34
(Quarterfinals start at 16.24)
(Semifinals and finals to be played on Sunday, February 26 from 09.20)

Source: Rugby365

Experienced Springbok Sevens for USA



Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell named an experienced team to defend their HSBC Sevens World Series tournament title at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas next weekend.

Injury permitting, the same team will also travel to New Zealand a week later for the Wellington Sevens tournament.

Powell included 10 players from his contracted group and handed a national debut to Steval Pumas flyer Rosko Specman. Powell also included a fit-again Seabelo Senatla, who will make a first appearance in the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.

Vodacom Bulls winger Sampie Mastriet, who played in all three IRB tournaments thus far this season, has again being included in the squad and Stephan Dippenaar is also back, having returned to full fitness after missing the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in December.

In all, Powell made three changes from the squad that won the Port Elizabeth event, with Specman, Dippenaar and Senatla replacing Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith and Steven Hunt respectively.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to finalise the squad as everyone really worked hard to make the final cut,” said Powell.

“Players such as Steven, Kwagga and Jamba Ulengo can count themselves unlucky not to be in the team, whilst Paul Delport has also just returned to full fitness after a serious knee injury.

“Rosko was with the team in Port Elizabeth and just missed out on selection there, but he kept working hard and deserves his opportunity,” Powell said of the Nelspruit-based player.

“He excelled for the SARU Sevens Academy team and was named Player of the Tournament at the Punta del Este 7s earlier this month, so I am confident that he can contribute significantly in our efforts to retain our title in Las Vegas.”

South Africa will be looking at a third title in in the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, but will first have to overcome Kenya, Wales and Canada in Pool A.

They are currently second on the HSBC Sevens World Series log with 56 points, just two behind New Zealand (58).

 The Springbok Sevens team (with number of tournaments) is:

Kyle Brown (captain, 36), Chris Dry (31), Philip Snyman (18), Frankie Horne (53), Rosko Specman (0), Werner Kok (3), Branco du Preez (26), Stephan Dippenaar (16), Justin Geduld (7)

Cecil Afrika (27), Sampie Mastriet (5), Seabelo Senatla (5)


Fiji struggling to pay Ryan


Ben Ryan

The Fiji Rugby Union are yet to pay new head coach Ben Ryan any of his salary since he took over the national side this season.

Ryan was appointed in September having previously spent six years with England. In an interview with Fiji’s One News earlier this week, Ryan revealed that he had not been paid “a penny” of his salary since becoming Fiji’s head coach and was living off his savings, which included the cost of travelling from Fiji back to the UK.

However FRU acting chief executive Berlin Kafoa has stated that Ryan previously agreed to volunteer for the first few months given the poor financial state of the Union. Kafoa also added that funding for Ryan’s salary had yet to be secured for next season. “Ryan volunteered for three months after being appointed as national Sevens coach due to the financial situation of the FRU,” said Kafoa said in a statement.

“The FRU has applied to the Fiji Sports Commission for a grant based on the 2014 budget allocation which will be used for Ryan’s salary. “We are still waiting for the Fiji Sports Commission to respond to our application. “We as a nation should applaud a foreign individual who is willing to make personal sacrifices for the love of rugby in Fiji.”

Fiji won the Dubai Sevens title under Ryan’s tutelage earlier this season.

Source: Planet Rugby

Strong side for George 7’sPL



Three members of the Springbok Sevens team that won the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament in December have been included in the SA Sevens Academy team for the George 7sPL tournament this weekend.

The George 7sPL will be played at Outeniqua Park on January 11-12.

Steven Hunt, Werner Kok and Kwagga Smith all formed part of the victorious South African side that overcame defending champions New Zealand in an emotional final played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, only a couple of days after the passing of former president Nelson Mandela.

The victory was a first to new Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell and only South Africa’s second home tournament win in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Hunt, Smith and Kok are all SARU contracted players and will be joined in George by a number of team members from their Stellenbosch base. Ruwellyn Isbell, Tshotsho Mbovane, Mark Richards and WJ Strydom are all SARU contracted players, whilst schoolboy star Warwick Gelant holds a dual Vodacom Blue Bulls and SA Sevens Academy contract.

The Academy side, coached and managed by former national player Marius Schoeman, on Monday returned victorious from the Punte del Este Sevens in Uruguay and will be keen to maintain their hot streak in George this weekend.

Schoeman was forced into some changes with injury ruling out Nardus van der Walt and provincial commitments robbing him of the services of Rosco Speckman, who was named Player of the Tournament in Uruguay.

The team will play under the Samurai banner, the same colours in which they won the International Invitational section of the Emirates Dubai Sevens in December and will in fact defend their crown in the Southern Cape this weekend.

The team last year won the inaugural tournament in George by beating Vodacom Super Rugby contenders, the Toyota Cheetahs, in the final.

The team to play in George is:

1. Shaun Adendorff (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

2. Kwagga Smith (SARU)

3. Bernado Botha (Down Touch Griffons)

4. Sandile Ngcobo (Valke)

5. Jacques Erasmus (Wits)

6. Ruwellyn Isbell (SARU)

7. WJ Strydom (SARU)

8. Tshotsho Mbovane (SARU)

9. Mark Richards (SARU)

10. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Blue Bulls/SA Sevens Academy)

11. Werner Kok (SARU)

12. Steven Hunt (SARU)

 Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

SA Kiwi fans spat at Bokke


South Africans supporting New Zealand reportedly spat at team members of the Springbok Sevens team after they beat the All Black Sevens side in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Blitzbokke reign on home soil



The Blitzbokke beat New Zealand 17-14 in the Cup Final of the the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

South African skipper Kyle Brown scored the only try of the second half in what was a pulsating final in front of an enthusiastic crowd to secure the title.

In the semifinals New Zealand beat Samoa 19-5 with Tomasi Cama scoring 14 of their points, while the inspired hosts were too strong for Argentina winning 31-0 thanks to tries from captain Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika, Sampie Mastriet, Kwagga Smith and Justin Geduld.

Earlier South Africa progressed to the semifinals by beating Portugal 45-0 with Werner Kok and Justin Geduld delighting the crowd with two tries in the victory, after New Zealand proved too strong for a spirited Kenya in a 19-0 victory.

Ben Ryan’s Fiji beat France in an enthralling Plate final, following on from their Cup win in Dubai last weekend.

Julien Candelon scored two tries for France to take his tournament tally to six, but Donasio Ratubuli and Benito Masilevu also scored braces to secure a 45-19 win for Fiji against Les Bleus.

Clearly upset with their quarterfinal defeat to Samoa, Fiji impressively beat Kenya 52-5 despite playing the majority of the match with six men in the first semifinal. Samisoni Viriviri scored two of their eight tries while Emosi Mulevoro contributed 13 points in the win.

Shannon Walker scored his seventh and eighth tries of the tournament but that was not enough as England beat Australia 28-19 to go unbeaten on day two and win the Bowl final.

Having finished third and fourth respectively in the first two rounds of the Sevens World Series, England will be disappointed to have missed out on the Cup competition but ensured they went home with eight Series points by beating Mic O’Connor’s side.

It is Simon Amor’s first piece of silverware as coach however, and they booked their place in the final after earlier victories against USA and Scotland in their semi and quarterfinals.

Australia secured their place in the final by beating Wales 33-21, with Walker scoring a hat-trick in their 38-5 quarterfinal win against Zimbabwe.

Tries from Lee Jones and Scott Riddell (two) secured a Shield victory for Scotland as they beat Canada 19-12 despite a second half come back from an inspired Phil Mack, a member of last week’s Dubai Dream Team.

Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens Day Two results:

Cup Final:
South Africa 17-14 New Zealand

Third place:
Samoa 21-7 Argentina

Plate Final:
Fiji 45-19 France

Bowl Final:
England 28-19 Australia

Shield Final:
Scotland 19-12 Canada

Preview: PE Sevens (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium)


85791e4c30f64b31846ff486d52fb824We bring you all you need to know about the 16 teams who will be vying for top honours in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, the third round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth this weekend.

Pool A:

Fiji – Series ranking: second (Champions in Dubai)

After their Cup-winning performance at the Dubai Sevens, Fiji have named an unchanged squad of 12 for the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, round three of the Sevens World Series.

Samisoni Viriviri was named Dubai’s player of the tournament, while fans also voted Semi Kunatani as the #Sevensrookie of the tournament through interacting with the IRB’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

One to watch: Giant forward Pio Tuwai has some of the best handling skills in rugby.

Scotland – Series ranking: ninth (Cup quarterfinalists in Dubai)

Scotland have called up 20-year-old back Mark Bennett, who was involved in the recent November internationals. He is an injury replacement for James Johnstone and is joined in Stephen Gemmell’s squad by Fijian-born Joseva Nayacavou, who earned his first cap at the first round of the Series on Australia’s Gold Coast and now replaces the injured forward Chris Dean.

Of the players currently still playing the sport, captain Colin Gregor is the second-highest point scorer all-time in Sevens with 974. He sits ninth in the all-time list and needs 26 points in PE to become the eighth man to reach 1,000 points.

One to watch: Lee Jones has pace and watch for Scott Riddell’s workrate in the forward pack.

Australia – Series ranking: fifth (Bowl winners in Dubai)

On paper coach Michael O’Connor had one of his strongest squads in Dubai but the Australians struggled for consistency. They let a strong lead slip in their opening match against Scotland and failed to reach the Cup quarterfinals. They recovered well on day two, going unbeaten on the second day en route to the Bowl.

An injury to Lewis Holland has forced O’Connor to make one change, Sam Myers coming in for his debut.

One to watch: Wallaby Luke Morahan has obvious x-factor, as does Shannon Walker, but O’Connor will be asking for a big shift up front from Sean McMahon, Jesse Parahi and Ed Jenkins.

France – Series ranking: 12th (Shield winners in Dubai)

Frederic Pomarel’s experienced side suffered a disappointing weekend in Dubai, where they lost their first four matches before winning their last two to finish on a high as Shield winners.

Last year they reached the Cup final in Port Elizabeth, so will be looking for far more this weekend.

They look like they will make two changes to the Dubai squad, Julien Saubade and Vincent Martin replaced by Stephen Parez and Steeve Barry, who were involved in the invitational tournament in Dubai.

One to watch: Still no Terry Bourahoua but Julien Candelon continues to defy his age with timeless performances and Paul Albaladejo is a playmaker out of the top drawer.

Pool B:

South Africa – Series ranking: third (Cup runners-up in Dubai)

Springbok Sevens head coach Neil Powell has called Steven Hunt and debutant Albertus “Kwagga” Smith into his squad in Port Elizabeth to replace the injured Stephan Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo.

Dippenaar was ruled out of action with a hamstring injury in Dubai, while Ulengo (foot) also misses their home tournament.

Franke Horne (leg) passed a late fitness test to make Powell’s squad, as they look to build on their Cup Final appearance last weekend.

Hunt and Smith were all in action in Dubai where they helped the South African Sevens Academy team defend their Dubai Invitational title for a fourth successive time.

One to watch: Cecil Afrika is still a menace but increasingly South Africa work off Branco du Preez and Justin Geduld.

Kenya – Series ranking: sixth (Cup quarterfinalists in Dubai)

Former Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has also been forced to make changes to his Kenya side.

Philip Wamae and Michael Wanjala are unavailable due to injury, while Patrice Agunda must sit exams; their places in the Kenya team are taken by Davis Chenge, Billy Odhiambo and Dan Sikuta.

Experienced flyer Collins Injera led from the front with a strong performance in Dubai, making the fans’ Dream Team. He now sits fourth on the all-time series try-scoring list, with 165.

One to watch: Captain Andrew Amonde leads magnificently and will be pleased to welcome back Billy Odhiambo as a foil for Collins Injera.

Canada – Series ranking: 11th (Bowl semifinalists in Dubai)

Canada took the eventual Cup champions Fiji to the wire in their pool clash in Dubai and also had scrumhalf Phil Mack in the fans’ Dream Team.

Ahead of the Port Elizabeth tournament, coach Geraint John has been forced into two changes through injury, Pat Kay and debutant Duncan Maguire coming in to replace Connor Braid and Lucas Hammond.

One to watch: Even after all these years playmaker Phil Mack is still Canada’s heartbeat. Captain John Moonlight is part of a strong forward pack.

Spain – Series ranking: 15th (Shield runners-up in Dubai)

Coach Jesus Delgado names an unchanged squad from the 12 that competed in Dubai, featuring the recall of some of the country’s best players in Pablo Feijoo, Ignacio Martin and Jaike Carter.

He will be looking for more from his players, though, who currently occupy that automatic relegation place, ranked 15th of the current core teams.

One to watch: Big wing Ignacio Martin is a great player to have back in the side.

Pool C:

New Zealand – Series ranking: first (third in Dubai)

New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens names an unchanged squad from the 12 that finished third in Dubai, recovering from a heaviest ever Sevens defeat, 044, at the hands of Fiji in the Cup semi, to beat England in the third/fourth play-off.

Tietjens’ squad – now comprising full-time Sevens athletes – is the most experienced in the tournament with 293 events between them, although four players – captain DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula, Tim Mikkelson and Tomasi Cama – account for 218 of those ‘caps’.

The New Zealanders are the defending series and South African champions.

One to watch: The list is long with New Zealand. Gillies Kaka was relatively quiet on return from injury in Dubai, so expect fireworks from him and fellow stepper Joe Webber.

Wales – Series ranking: sixth (Plate runners-up in Dubai)

With only eight players fit to contest the Plate Final against Argentina in Dubai, Wales were down to their bare bones but now start again with a full compliment of 12 after flying in two replacements.

Captain Adam Thomas and Adam Field are unable to compete in Port Elizabeth, replaced by debutant Rhodri Davies and Will Price, who comes in for his 10th series tournament.

One to watch: Loose forward James Davies has proved his fitness following an outstanding performance in Dubai that saw him named in the Dream Team.

Portugal – Series ranking: 13th (Bowl runners-up in Dubai)

Coach Pedro Netto Fernandes makes one change to the side that lost 12-17 to Australia in the Dubai Bowl Final, just a week after many of the players had been involved in Test match rugby in Lisbon against Canada.

Frederico Oliveira picked up a leg injury during the Dubai tournament and is replaced by debutant Rafael Simoes.

One to watch: Little captain Pedro ‘Popcorn’ Leal and veteran back David Mateus.

USA – Series ranking: 14th (Shield semifinalists in Dubai)

USA Sevens head coach Matt Hawkins will be asking more of the same 12 players who finished with five losses in Dubai.

Captain Nick Edwards currently sits five tries short of 50 with 45 to his name.

One to watch: Zack Test has been the USA’s outstanding player for a few seasons.

Pool D:

England – Series ranking: fourth (fourth in Dubai)

England are one of six sides in Port Elizabeth who are unchanged from Dubai, where they beat Wales to make the Cup semis but lost there to eventual runners-up, South Africa.

One to watch: Mike Ellery is still a relative newcomer but put in a strong performance last weekend for coach Simon Amor in the forwards as well as at centre and wing.

Argentina – Series ranking: eighth (Plate winners in Dubai)

Like England, Argentina’s squad is unchanged from Dubai where they put in a much stronger performance for coach, Santiago Gomez Cora.

They will be looking to emulate the kind of form that took them to the Cup semis here last year.

One to watch: Diego Palma gives them lots of pace and Axel Muller is an interesting athlete, having come from American football and represented Argentina as a decathlete.

Samoa – Series ranking: ninth (Bowl semifinalists in Dubai)

Viliamu Punivalu was disappointed with his side’s performance in Dubai, where their Cup defence faltered on Day One with losses to South Africa and Argentina.

He makes one change to the team for Port Elizabeth, the injured Misioka Timoteo replaced by debutant, Fomai Ah Ki.

One to watch: Lio Lolo is a strong player for Samoa, while captain Reupena Levasa and Alatasi Tupou are crucial to this new side.

Zimbabwe – Series ranking: N/A (Did not compete in Dubai)

Liam Middleton is back with the Zimbabwe team after a stint coaching in England but long-time manager Bruce Hobson will be missed as he steps away from the side after over a decade of service, as well former captain Jacques Leitao and Wesley Mbanje, who have also stepped down.

One to watch: The Cheetahs name a squad with five debutants as they undergo a period of change but still have dangerous pacemen in the likes of Gardener Nechironga and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo.

Pool A:
Fiji, Scotland, Australia and France
Pool B: South Africa, Kenya, Canada and Spain
Pool C: New Zealand, Wales, Portugal and USA
Pool D: England, Argentina, Samoa and Zimbabwe

Day One schedule – Saturday, December 7:
(Kick-off times are local – GMT minus two hours)
Match 1: New Zealand v Portugal, 11.00
Match 2: Wales v United States, 11.22
Match 3: England v Samoa, 11.44
Match 4: Argentina v Zimbabwe, 12.06
Match 5: Fiji v Australia, 12.28
Match 6: Scotland v France, 12.50
Match 7: South Africa v Canada, 13.12
Match 8: Kenya v Spain, 13.34
Match 9: New Zealand v United States, 14.06
Match 10: Wales v Portugal, 14.28
Match 11: England v Zimbabwe, 14.50
Match 12: Argentina v Samoa, 15.12
Match 13: Fiji v France, 15.34
Match 14: Scotland v Australia, 15.56
Match 15: South Africa v Spain, 16.18
Match 16: Kenya v Canada, 16.40
Match 17: Portugal v United States, 17.14
Match 18: New Zealand v Wales, 17.36
Match 19: Samoa v Zimbabwe, 17.58
Match 20: England v Argentina, 18.20
Match 21: Australia v France, 18.52
Match 22: Fiji v Scotland, 19.14
Match 23: Canada v Spain, 19.36
Match 24: South Africa v Kenya, 19.58

Source: IRB

Petersen set Chiefs Alight


After they dazzled all with their flair and distinctive kit in their inaugural appearance at the George7s PL last year, the trend-setting Kaizer Chiefs are returning to the Garden Route with a powerful team to back up the brand on the field as well.

Former double Springbok international and Kaizer Chiefs Sevens coach, Gcobani Bobo, clearly did some clever recruitment since last year and will arrive at the scenic Outeniqua Park in George with a squad consisting of no less than four former Springbok Sevens internationals, some leading Varsity Cup players as well as the Southern Kings try-scoring sensation, Sergeal Petersen.

The sensational Eastern Province flyer highlights a squad that includes Springbok Sevens all-time try-scoring record holder, Fabian Juries, and former Blitzbokke Danwel Demas, and Norman Nelson in an exceptional line-up of playmaking and speed. Former SA Schools fullback Leroy Bitterhout will bring even more side-stepping prowess to the team that also include regular sevens exponents Reg Muller and Jason Kriel, who donned the Vodacom Blue Bulls colours in last year’s tournament.

Bobo also roped in hard-working flanker and University of Johannesburg Varsity Cup captain, Justin Wheeler as well as fellow loose forward Daneel Ellis, and SA Students Sevens ace, Vuyo Ganto from the University of Fort Hare. Former Steval Pumas and current Boland Kavaliers flanker, Junior Bester, is the sole survivor of the Chiefs squad from last year. “We have a strong squad and I am pretty happy they will do our wonderful brand justice with their performances.

The Kaizer Chiefs brand deserves nothing but the best and I am pretty pleased that we have a squad that will be very competitive and that will be able to play a kind of sevens that will reflect on our professionalism and appetite for success,” Bobo said. Kaizer Chiefs Marketing Director, Jessica Motaung, said the decision to return to the tournament was an easy one. “We have seen tremendous goodwill towards Kaizer Chiefs in last year’s inaugural tournament and we proved to be one of the most popular teams at the event.

We would like to reward our new fan base with another go at the title and I am pretty excited about the quality of our squad that Gcobani managed to put together. We created sporting history last year and our brand benefitted immensely, so we would like to give some of our gratitude back to our fan base in the Southern Cape.

We hope to expand our brand even more in this non-traditional market that embraced us with so much passion last year.” Tournament promoter Willem Strauss predicted Petersen to be one of the stars of the tournament, to be held on 13 and 14 December. “We really are blessed this year with the abundance of talent that will be on display at Outeniqua Park this year, but I think Sergeal can easily turn out to be the real stars. In my many years of involvement with the schools rugby sevens series, Sergeal stood out as one of the real prospects and I have no doubt that he will again be a star attraction. His performances in Super Rugby this year proved his class,” Strauss said. “It is clear that winning the title is high on the agenda of Kaizer Chiefs Sevens.

Their performances last year won them many fans, this time it could just win them a title as well,” Strauss said.

The Kaizer Chiefs Sevens team is: Danwel Demas, Fabian Juries, Junior Bester, Norman Nelson, Sinovuyo Ganto, Sergeal Petersen, Leroy Bitterhout, Reg Muller, Daneel Ellis, Justin Wheeler, Jason Kriel.

•Tickets for this sevens extravaganza is available at Computicket. For more information, contact Willem Strauss at 082-457-0190. Photo (L – R): Fabian Juries (KC Captain), Gcobani Bobo (KC Coach), Jessica Motaung (KC Marketing Director), Sinovuyo Ganto (KC Player), Reg Muller (KC Player) and Willem Strauss (Tournament Promoter).

Kaizer Chiefs Launch


Springboks call up trio as cover


c22fb68e141946f388e72b3339703fafThe Springbok Sevens have called up Steven Hunt, Kwagga Smith and Rosco Speckman as injury cover for Stephan Dippenaar, Jamba Ulengo and Frankie Horne. The South Africans will be in action over the weekend in the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth.

Dippenaar was ruled out of action with a hamstring injury, while Ulengo is doubtful because of a foot injury and Horne suffered a blow to the leg this past weekend in Dubai where the Springbok Sevens finished as runners-up to Fiji in Round 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Hunt, Smith and Speckman were all in action in Dubai where they helped the SA Sevens Academy team defend their Dubai Invitational title for a fourth successive time. They arrived in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and joined the squad for their first training session on the B-field of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium late in the afternoon.

Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, will announce his 12-man squad at a media conference on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier today, Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown joined the other 15 captains at the International Captains Signing Session at Green Acres Shopping Centre. This popular tournament promotional event was again well supported by the local crowd.

The team attended a corporate breakfast in the morning and then headed straight to the Virgin Active gymnasium for an hour-long workout session.

On Wednesday Port Elizabeth fans will be able to meet the entire Springbok Sevens squad during a signing session from 14h00 – 15h00 at the Woolworths Court at Walmer Park Mall.

PE gears up for Sevens arrival


85791e4c30f64b31846ff486d52fb824The Springbok Sevens and the other 15 international teams participating in this weekend’s Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens will arrive at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Monday evening at approximately 20:30.

The 16 teams will arrive on two flights from Johannesburg, with the second flight expected at approximately 21h00. There will be brief visual and interview opportunities at the airport and media are requested to take up their positions inside the arrivals hall by no later than 20h00.

All 16 captains of the participating teams will attend the International Captains Signing Session on Tuesday, 3 December between 13h00 – 14h00 at the Maurice Levin Court in the Green Acres Shopping Centre.

On Wednesday, Port Elizabeth supporters will be able to meet the entire Springbok Sevens squad during a signing session from 14h00 – 15h00 at the Woolworths Court in the Walmer Park Mall.

South Africa will be training daily on the B-field of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. All training sessions are open to media, except for the Captain’s Run on Friday, which will be open only for the first 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Bokkie will also be in Port Elizabeth this week in the build up to the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament over the weekend.

Bokkie, who is widely regarded as South Africa’s favourite mascot, will be in attendance at various tournament promotions this week as the excitement builds toward Round 3 of the HSBC Sevens World Series taking place on 7 – 8 December at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Media and rugby supporters are welcome to photograph the popular mascot during his various promotional activities.

BlitzBokke aim for better showing



South Africa will aim to improve on their Gold Coast performance of last month when they play in the Dubai Sevens on Friday and Saturday.

The tournament marks Round Two of the IRB Sevens World Series, which consists of nine tournaments worldwide.

Following the Dubai action, the 16 international teams will fly to South Africa on Monday to participate in the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens next weekend, December 7 and 8, in Port Elizabeth.

Springbok coach Neil Powell made three changes to the squad that finished fourth at the Gold Coast for their next two tournaments.

Prolific try-scorer Cornal Hendricks is no longer available after joining the Cheetahs to play Super Rugby, while Mark Richards and Steven Hunt were selected for the SA Academy team who are also in Dubai for the International Invitational tournament.

Powell chose Junior Springbok Cheslin Kolbe, fit-again Branco du Preez and Werner Kok as their replacements.

Looking ahead to the action on Friday, Powell said he is pleased with the squad’s preparation for their onslaught at a venue where South Africa have won three titles in the past.

“We played some good warm-up matches against three local university teams at home and that helped us a lot in terms of determining our state of readiness,” said Powell.

He added that while it is exciting to have game-breakers such as Kolbe and Du Preez in the squad, their focus will be team-orientated.

“They [Kolbe and Du Preez] have great individual talent, but we will need a huge team effort in this demanding tournament. Our theme this year is to strive for consistency, which means that we will firstly be looking to reach at least the semifinals,” explained Powell.

Team captain Kyle Brown said it was vital to get a good start in the first three tournaments, and they will therefore look to improve on their Gold Coast performance.

“We knew from the start that these two tournaments would serve as indicators of how the rest of the season will unfold. A good showing in Dubai and PE will give us a good foothold on the World Series log, from where we can attack for the remainder of the race,” said Brown.

He expressed his satisfaction with their preparations for the next two rounds: “I feel we’ve had a good, strong four weeks of preparations and now it is up to us to perform on the playing field.

“We have a settled and experienced squad and it is nice that we could add some new but familiar faces such as Cheslin and Branco. We want to top our pool on the first day and that challenge begins with Argentina, who have a formidable team,” added Brown

On Friday, South Africa open their Pool D fixtures against Argentina, while Russia await them later, before they finish their day-one schedule against the powerful Samoan outfit, the defending Dubai champions.

South Africa: Chris Dry, Phillip Snyman, Werner Kok, Frankie Horne, Jamba Ulengo, Kyle Brown (captain), Stephan Dippenaar, Branco du Preez, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Cheslin Kolbe, Sampie Mastriet.

Source: Rugby365

Blitzbokke set for Dubai quest


4b96d8fec13c4919a01d772ab9141bbdThe Springbok Sevens squad for the next two rounds of the Sevens World Series in Dubai and Port Elizabeth shows three changes from the 12-man group that finished fourth at the Gold Coast in October.

The squad has been bolstered by the return to full fitness by livewire scrumhalf Branco du Preez and the inclusion of Junior Springbok attacking star Cheslin Kolbe of Western Province.

Werner Kok is the third change to the squad, while Mark Richards, and Steven Hunt missed out on selection.

Cornal Hendricks, top try-scorer for South Africa last season when they finished second on the World Series log, has joined the Cheetahs for their Super Rugby campaign next season and is unavailable, whilst Seabelo Senatla and veteran Paul Delport are still recovering from injury and were not considered.

Kolbe was included in the travelling party after SARU GM for High Performance, Rassie Erasmus, successfully negotiated his temporary release from WP.

Erasmus said on Friday SARU was grateful to the provincial unions for releasing their players to the Springbok Sevens.

Apart from Kolbe, three players from the Bulls, and one each of the EP Kings, Golden Lions and Pumas were released by their provinces after the Currie Cup campaign to join the wider training group in Stellenbosch a fortnight ago.

These players are: Nardus van der Walt, Shaun Adendorf, Sampie Mastriet (all Blue Bulls), Kwagga Smith (Golden Lions), Siviwe Soyizwapi (EP Kings) and Rosco Speckman (Pumas).

All will be in action next week in Dubai, either for the Springbok Sevens or the SA Sevens Academy.

Erasmus was full of praised for the willingness of the provinces to assist: “Although they have just completed a tough Currie Cup campaign, they did not hesitate to answer our call for assistance. I want to thank the Bulls, EP Kings, Pumas and Western Province for releasing their players to us,” said Erasmus.

Commenting on the squad, Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, said he was pleased with the final selection and added the players are eager to improve on their showing at the Gold Coast.

Powell explained: “Our preparations went well and the guys are really looking forward to Dubai and then to come home and play in front of our home supporters in Port Elizabeth. We are looking for consistency in performance firstly during this series, but will be very keen to win the next two tournaments as we have good track records and support at both venues.”

The squad leaves on Sunday afternoon from the Cape Town International Airport to play in the Emirates Dubai Sevens next weekend, 29-30 November. They then travel to Port Elizabeth for the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in PE on 7-8 December to play in their home tournament.

In Dubai, South Africa will line up against Argentina, Russia and defending tournament champions Samoa in Pool D on match day one.

Source: Sport24

Camps Bay gears up for Varsity 7s and Beach Volleyball


Sport lovers are in for a treat next week, when Varsity Sports (VS) will take over Camps Bay during the second edition of the Varsity 7s Rugby and Beach Volleyball competitions from 29 November to 1 December.

Kolbe joins Springbok Sevens


KolbeJunior Springbok Cheslin Kolbe has joined the Springbok Sevens training group in Stellenbosch, the South African Rugby Union confirmed on Monday.

The training group will finalise their preparations at the end of this week for the next two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in Dubai and Port Elizabeth. The 12-man Springbok Sevens squad will be named on Friday afternoon and the group will fly out this coming Sunday from Cape Town to Dubai. The Dubai Sevens takes place on 29-30 November and the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens on the weekend of 7-8 December in Port Elizabeth.

SARU will also announce a 12-man squad to play in the annual Dubai International Invitational tournament in two weeks’ time.

Kolbe’s last appearance for the Springbok Sevens was in July, when he played in the 2013 Rugby World Cup in Moscow, shortly after he represented the Junior Springboks at the IRB Junior World Championship in France.

Since returning from Moscow, he has establish himself as a key figure in the DHL Western Province backline during the Cape side’s Absa Currie Cup campaign.

Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, described the addition of Kolbe as a huge boost for the squad and said he expects the player to slot in very quickly.

“Cheslin is very familiar with our set up because he played for the SA Sevens Academy in Dubai in 2012 and was part of the Bok Sevens squad in PE last December. He is an exciting attacking player and someone that will obviously add a lot of value to our existing squad,” explained Powell.

South Africa is currently fourth on the World Series standings after the opening round at the Gold Coast.

The Springbok Sevens will open their Pool D fixtures in the 50 000 capacity 7he Dubai Stadium against Argentina next Friday, before meeting Russia during mid-morning. Their last pools match is an evening clash with the powerful Samoan outfit, who is also the defending Dubai champions.

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

Treu reveals Kenyan goals


434c6a40444c4b0fb67471fed6cd77c7New Kenya sevens coach Paul Treu will strive for more consistency in developing the team towards qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In his first interview, the South African, who signed a three year contract with Kenya in October, said his immediate challenge was to make the team more focused and be competitive in the second leg of the 2013-14 HSBC World Sevens series in Dubai on November 29-30.

“We need to find our feet with the players and make sure everyone is at the same level. Our focus will be on the fitness and making sure the players are more direct in their attack and the defence has to go forward,” said Treu.

Fifth-ranked Kenya are drawn in Group A in the Dubai Sevens, alongside France, Portugal and New Zealand, winners of the season’s opening round in Australia in October.

“It is going to be a tough pool. Playing against France and Portugal is not going to be easy and, obviously New Zealand will be working to improve on their last game.

“It would be irresponsible for me to say that we are going to win this tournament. For us as a new management, our work is to make sure the players are well conditioned and ready to compete, especially among the eight teams on the circuit.”

Along with his post of head coach, Treu’s docket includes of being head of high performance and working with the Kenyan coaches and players to professionalize their sevens rugby.

He has been tasked with turning the Kenya sevens team into a fully professional unit by 2015.

Treu’s technical bench includes fellow South Africans, Vuyo Zangqa and Graham Bentz, who will serve as deputy coach and skills and conditioning coach respectively.

Treu begins his new quest


PaulFormer Blitzbokke coach Paul Treu will officially take charge of the Kenya team on Friday on a three-year-contract until the 2016 Rio Olympics.

By: Sport24

Treu, who resigned as the Blitzbokke coach in August, succeeds Englishman Mike Friday and will be joined by fellow South African, Vuyo Zangqa, as his deputy coach.

“Kenya is privileged to have someone of Treu’s calibre as head coach of its rugby sevens.

“Many countries would like such a pedigree to take care of their sport.

“We are honoured and blessed to have him here,” Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chief Mwangi Muthee said.

Treu’s contract as head coach and head of performance is to steer Kenya into qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, where sevens rugby will be making its debut.

“Project Rio starts tomorrow,” said Mwangi.

“There is so much going to happen between now and Rio.

“We want to put in all the hard work and the fruits will follow.”

Treu, 42, was coach of the Blitzbokke since 2004 after playing for the side as sweeper and captain from 1999 to 2002.

Apart from Zangqa, Treu’s technical bench will include compatriots, Graham Bentz, as strength and conditioning coach and Karen Schwabbe, who will take up her appointment as head of sports medicine in January.

Treu confirmed as Kenya coach



Former Blitzbokke coach Paul Treu has been confirmed as the new head coach of Kenya’s sevens team, while Vuyo Zangqa will leave his post as South Africa’s assistant coach to join Treu.

Kenya Rugby confirmed the news via their Twitter account on Monday morning:

Goodmorning! Joining #Kenya7s technical bench

1. Paul Treu – coach

2. Vuyo Zangqa – deputy coach

3. Graham Bentz – skills and conditioning coach

Treu, 42, vacated his position as Springbok Sevens coach in August and was recently replace by Niel Powell

Treu was appointed as Blitzbokke coach in 2004 after representing the team from 1999 to 2002 at sweeper and later as captain.

As coach he led the team to the Sevens World Series title in 2008/09 and won 14 tournaments on the circuit.

He coached the team in three Sevens Rugby World Cups and took them to bronze at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010.

With Zangqa also joining Treu in Kenya, South Africa would need to find a new assistant for Powell.

Blitzbokke begin series quest


The Springbok Sevens rugby squad departed on Monday to Australia where the opening tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series will take place this coming weekend at the Gold Coast at Skilled Park.

By: Sport24

South Africa are seeded first in Pool B and face stiff opposition from a trio of European teams headed by England, France and Spain. Speaking to the media on Monday newly appointed head coach, Neil Powell, said they are looking forward to get the season underway Down Under.

“We realise that every time a South African team takes the field then the expectation is for us to win. “It is a huge motivating factor for the team and something we as a group embrace,” explained Powell.

The SA Sevens coach added he is happy with the team’s preparations for the annual World Series kick-off at the Gold Coast.

“A few players ended the last season with some injury niggles and they used the break and pre-season period to sort themselves. Playing wise, we used the Middelburg Sevens to try out a few new ideas and I am glad for the valuable opportunities it gave us to gauge ourselves,” according to Powell.

The team will be without former coach Paul Treu for the first time in almost a decade, but Powell said not much has changed within the setup, something he hopes his charges would be able to use to their advantage.

The former Springbok Sevens captain and World Series winner added he is fortunate to inherit a good and familiar structure: “I know a lot of other countries have changed coaching and player personnel but we are fortunate that apart from the change at head coach, we have a settled squad and management.

“However, we are taking nothing for granted and fully realise we will have to go out there and perform to the best of our ability.

“Vuyo (Zangqa, assistant coach) and I sat down a while ago and decided that that we will do only some minor tweaks because our core structure is so good thanks to the great work done by Paul.

“I am obviously excited about this challenge and looking forward to work with a great set of players and management.”

The Springbok Sevens will be aiming to improve on their runners-up spot last season, when they also managed clinched three tournament titles.

SARU – Thank Paul Treu


SA Rugby

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Tuesday thanked Paul Treu for his services to Springbok Sevens rugby and paid tribute to the contribution he had made to developing the seven-a-side game in this country.

SARU President, Mr Oregan Hoskins, confirmed that after long discussions with both Treu, players and other Sevens stakeholders a mutual decision had been reached to seek a new head coach for the Springbok Sevens team. Mr Hoskins and Jurie Roux, SARU CEO, met Treu on Tuesday to amicably conclude their discussions.

“Paul’s contribution to Sevens rugby in this country over the past decade has been outstanding,” said Mr Hoskins. “He has built the team and the brand of Sevens rugby through his passion and expertise and has made our Springbok team a regular contender for tournament and Series honours. He has established our Sevens programme and made an enormous contribution to the game.

“However, there comes a point where there is a need for renewal and in discussions with Paul and other stakeholders, there was a general sentiment that we had reached that point. Paul has other options, and we also had other roles in mind for him, but it was clear that a natural time had come for all parties to seek a new direction.
“We did discuss other alternatives to retain Paul at SARU but he has an understandable desire to go to the Olympic Games in 2016. We hope to see him working in South African rugby again in due course.”

Paul Treu said: “I have had a wonderful time at SARU and would like to thank the organisation for the opportunity they have given me. We have had some wonderful highs in the past 10 seasons and I hope I have added value to South African rugby.
“This was a decision I had thought long and hard about for some time and those close to me will know that it was something that I had agonised over. But I believed the time was right to move on – both for me and the team – and I wish them all success in the future.”
Paul Treu was appointed as Sevens coach in 2004 after representing the team from 1999 to 2002 at sweeper and later as captain. As coach he led the team to the IRB World Sevens Series title in 2008/09 and won 14 tournaments on the HSBC Sevens Series circuit. He coached the team in three Sevens Rugby World Cups and took the team to bronze at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010.

The Sevens programme will continue to be managed by Sevens manager, Sebastian Prim, with playing affairs being handled in the interim by Neil Powell and Vuyo Zangqa, who recently led the team to the World Games gold medal in Colombia.
Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

AUSTRALIAN 7’s Player LEWIS HOLLAND Receive 3 Match Sanction.



Australian Men’s Sevens player Lewis Holland has received a three-match sanction for a dangerous lifting tackle at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

Holland was cited for an incident in Australia’s opening pool match against Spain overnight, for a tackle contrary to law 10.4(j).

Holland appeared before independent Judicial Officer, Jeremy Summers (England) after being cited by Citing Commissioner Steve Scott (UAE).

The Judicial Officer, having heard all the evidence, determined that the citing be upheld. He determined that the offence should merit the low-end entry point for the sanction which is four weeks/matches.

Having also considered the mitigating factors, including a clean disciplinary record, and determined no aggravating factors, the Judicial Officer reduced the sanction by one (week) match.

Holland is therefore suspended for Australia’s two pool matches against Tunisia and France on Saturday and the first match of the knockout phase on Sunday.

The Australian Men’s Sevens opened their World Cup campaign with a 21-0 win over Spain. They continue pool play tonight, with Tunisia at 5:56pm (AEST) and France at 12:10am (AEST) on Sunday 30 June.

All matches will be streamed live at The final day of the tournament will be streamed live on and broadcast live on Fox Sports 3HD.

Australian Men’s Sevens Rugby World Cup Sevens squad:


Cam Clark
Northern Suburbs, NSW
Sydney, NSW

Tom Cusack
Canberra Royals, ACT
Canberra, ACT

Bernard Foley
NSW Waratahs, Super Rugby
Sydney, NSW

Con Foley
University of Queensland, QLD
Brisbane, QLD

Matt Lucas
NSW Waratahs, Super Rugby
Brisbane, QLD

Lewis Holland
Queanbeyan Whites, NSW
Braidwood, NSW

Ed Jenkins (c)
Sydney University, NSW
Sydney, NSW

Sean McMahon
Brisbane, QLD

Luke Morahan
Queensland Reds, Super Rugby
Gold Coast, QLD

Jesse Parahi
Northern Suburbs, NSW
Avoca Beach, NSW

James Stannard
Souths, QLD
Brisbane, QLD

Shannon Walker
Easts, QLD
Kyogle, NSW

Australian Men’s Sevens Rugby World Cup Sevens staff

Michael O’Connor
Head coach

Luca Liussi

John Mitchell
Strength and conditioning coach

Hamamura Hiroyuki

Joshua Bird

Kanko drafted into Sevens squad


The Springbok Sevens team started their preparations for the Rugby World Cup Sevens at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Monday.

Blitzbokke defeat NZ to win Tokyo Sevens


South Africa won the Tokyo Sevens on Sunday morning when they beat New Zealand 24-19 in the Cup final of round seven of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Blitzbokke routed in Hong Kong


The Blitzbokke have been beaten by Argentina in their opening HSBC World Sevens Series match in Hong Kong on Friday.

Sevens Boks face hosts in World Cup


South Africa were paired with Rugby World Sevens 2013 hosts, Russia, Scotland and Japan when the RWC draw was made in Moscow on Thursday.

SA Sevens Boys claims GOLD at Youth Olympics


The South African Under-18 men’s team won the Sevens gold medal at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney on Saturday morning (SA time) after defeating host nation Australia 22-7 in the final.

NBM Sevens kicks off in George


It is all systems go for the inaugural NBM 7sPL tournament at the picturesque Outeniqua Park in George with all 12 teams ready to lay claim to the R1 million prize money that will be on offer.

Blitzbokke claim bronze in Oz


The Springbok Sevens bounced back from their Cup semi-final loss against Fiji to outplay Kenya 41-7 and claim third place at the Gold Coast Sevens on Sunday morning (SA time). The Fijians successfully defended their tournament title by beating New Zealand 32-14 in the final at Skilled Park.

Blitzbokke impress in Oz


The Springbok Sevens beat arch rivals New Zealand 31-21 to finish unbeaten and on top of Pool A at the Gold Coast Sevens on Saturday. The Blitzbokke will now face France in the first Cup quarterfinal match on Sunday at Skilled Park, which is scheduled to start at 3:48am (SA time).

Poms beat Blitzbokke in Plate Final


A Mat Turner try seconds after the final hooter gave England a dramatic 19-17 victory over South Africa in their Plate semi-final clash of the Marriot London Sevens at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon.