24 November 2017

South Africa: Notshe to Make Sevens Debut in Dubai

Try-scoring ace Siviwe Soyizwapi will lead a talented SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad to the Dubai Sevens tournament on November 30 and December 1 in Dubai.

Soyizwapi, who scored 29 tries for the Blitzboks last season, headlines a squad containing a number of players who helped the Springbok Sevens to glory in the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Selvyn Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Stedman Gans, Zain Davids and Dewald Human were all part of the Blitzboks' effort last season. They will be joined by JC Pretorius, Sako Makata, Mosolwa Mafuma, Impi Visser and debutant, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, from the Currie Cup winning Western Province side.

Notshe, who was part of the Western Province team that won the Currie Cup last month, was a high-profile recruit to the Blitzboks' set-up and will have the ideal opportunity to showcase his skill-set and appetite for sevens rugby in the Arabian desert next weekend.

Pretorius, Makata, Mafuma and Visser all represented the SA Rugby Sevens Academy before.

SA Rugby Sevens Academy manager, Marius Schoeman and coach, Paul Delport, are both looking for strong performances in Dubai.

"We have a lot of tournaments lined up this season, so each of them will help us to get better for the next one," Schoeman said.

"We have a developmental role to fulfil first, but this team also play to win, so we travel to Dubai with both goals in mind. We have talented players in the squad and I think we will give a good account of ourselves."

Delport said the experience of Soyizwapi and the likes of Gans and Zain Davids will help in their pool matches against the Monaco Impis, Canada Maple Leafs and Samurai Select.

"We will be up against national teams from the countries outside the series and experienced players in some of those invited teams, so will have to be at our best," said Delport.

"We have a good record at this tournament and venue and having won here before, we are aiming for nothing less.

"Furthermore, we are keen to see what Notshe can do, but we need to allow him to find his rhythm and pace of the game. He is very talented though and I think he will be a real factor for us."

The SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad to Dubai (with number of World Series caps):

Gift Dlamini, JC Pretorius, Sako Makata, Selvyn Davids (1), Siviwe Soyizwapi (12, captain), Ryan Oosthuizen (2), Stedman Gans (4), Zain Davids (6), Dewald Human (2), Mosolwa Mafuma, Impi Visser, Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Management: Marius Schoeman (manager), Paul Delport (coach), Nadia Clenzos (physiotherapist)

Source: Sport24

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