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Blitzboks aim to move on in Tokyo after trio of third places
- Updated: April 2, 2015
After finishing third at the previous three HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments, South Africa will be out to add another Cup title to their collection so far this season at the Tokyo Sevens this weekend.
The Springbok Sevens (110 points) currently enjoy a slender lead of two points over Fiji at the top of World Series standings after six rounds. After winning the Cup in Dubai and Port Elizabeth, they have not progressed past the semi-finals in Wellington, Las Vegas and Hong Kong.
The 17 points they collected last weekend in Hong Kong allowed them to stay in first place above Fiji and New Zealand. Success in Tokyo on Sunday will thus allow the South Africans to consolidate their lead in the race for the coveted World Series title.
The top four teams at the end of the World Series season in May will qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
For now, the focus is very much on the next World Series assignment in Tokyo, where the Springbok Sevens will be hoping to challenge strongly for the Cup. They kick off on Saturday morning against Canada (4.58am SA time) and their remaining games will be played at 7.46am against Kenya and 11.58am versus the USA.
Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach reckons said his charges will have to be alert and mentally strong in Tokyo.
Tokyo is always a difficult tournament because it happens after a huge build-up the previous week in Hong Kong. I believe the team that arrives here in a good mental state will be successful, and hopefully that will be us,’ said Powell.
The Springbok Sevens squad for the Tokyo Sevens are (WS caps in brackets, all SARU contracted):
1 Chris Dry (41)
2 Carel du Preez (0)
3 Frankie Horne (65)
4 Kwagga Smith (12)
5 Werner Kok (14)
6 Kyle Brown (captain, 45)
7 Branco du Preez (38)
8 Ruhan Nel (3)
9 Justin Geduld (16)
10 Cecil Afrika (36)
11 Seabelo Senatla (15)
12 Rosko Specman (3)
Picture of the captain’s call in Tokyo courtesy of Martin Seras Lima, WorldRugby7s