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Experienced duo returns as Blitzboks aim for Paris Olympics

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Zain Davids and Shilton van Wyk return to the Springbok Sevens squad that will contest the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco from 21-23 June.

South Africa will play Mexico, Tonga and Chile in pool play in the tournament where the winner will fill the last spot at the Rugby Sevens tournament of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Davids and Van Wyk both missed the squad’s previous trip to Europe, the HSBC SVNS Grand Finale in Madrid as they were rested with the Monaco trip in mind, and according to interim Head Coach, Philip Snyman, it was a worthwhile exercise.

“Both Zain and Shilton played in all the tournaments for us and we felt it would be better for them to miss the Madrid one and to freshen up for Monaco, as they will be needed in what is a very important tournament for us,” Snyman explained.

The squad for Monaco will only consist of 12 players and not the 13 that usually travel to the SVNS events on tour, and according to Snyman, this impacted on team selection.

“We needed a little bit of versatility in the squad, as you have one player less and for us, Siviwe Soyizwapi, will fill that role and will play on the wing and in the forwards. We are also lucky to have Selvyn Davids and Rosko Specman who can play in several positions.”

Snyman said they travel to Monaco on Sunday with a clear mind on the task ahead.

“The goal is straight forward, and that is to win in Monaco and gain entry to the Paris Olympics. The whole squad is in agreement that we were our own worst enemies during the SVNS series and only we can fix that.”

Their preparations went well and they will have confidence in getting the job done.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves and no one is thinking Paris yet. We need to lay a foundation against Mexico and follow it up on Day Two and get the best possible draw for the playoffs on Day Three,” said Snyman.

The Pools in Monaco:

A: South Africa, Chile, Tonga, Mexico

B: Great Britain, Canada, Uganda, China

C: Spain, Hong Kong China, Papua New Guinea, Brazil

Blitzboks schedule:

Friday, 21 June

17h32: Mexico

Saturday 22 June

14h32: Tonga

19h32: Chile

The Springbok Sevens squad for Monaco:

1) Christie Grobbelaar

2) Ryan Oosthuizen

3) Impi Visser

4) Zain Davids

5) Quewin Nortje

6) Tiaan Pretorius

7) Shaun Williams

8) Selvyn Davids (captain)

9) Tristan Leyds

10) Rosko Specman

11) Siviwe Soyizwapi

12) Shilton van Wyk

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby.

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Zeena Isaacs
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JJ Harmse
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