7 December 2017

South Africa: Powell Reaffirms Commitment to Blitzboks

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell has reiterated that while he is prepared to help out the Springboks in any capacity, he is fully committed to the Blitzboks.

Powell has guided the Blitzboks to the top of the pile in the Sevens world and they will be looking to make it the perfect start to the 2017/18 World Series season when they take part in this weekend's Cape Town leg in front of a packed home crowd.

The Blitzboks, who won in Dubai last weekend and are the World Series defending champions, have become South African rugby's shining light given the struggles of the Springboks over the last two years.

Since Allister Coetzee took over as Bok coach in 2016, the Boks have won just 11 of 25 Test matches, prompting speculation that Coetzee will lose his job before the year is out.

With Rassie Erasmus in as Director of Rugby for the national side, a number of names have been mentioned when looking ahead to what his management team might look like.

Kings coach Deon Davids and scrum coach Pieter de Villiers have both been linked, while Powell's name has also been thrown into the hat.

But while he is more than ready to help out if called upon, Powell remains fully committed to the Sevens cause in a year that will see the Blitzboks play in the Sevens World Cup as well as the Commonwealth Games.

"It's in an assisting role if I can ... if they feel that I can contribute to where they're going. It's just an assisting role," Powell said about the possibility of working with the Boks in 2018.

"I've still got a contract with the SA Sevens until 2020 and I will honour that contract unless I get told something else by the powers that be."

For now, Powell remains focussed on the Cape Town Sevens, and says is always a big weekend for his charges.

"We only get one opportunity to play in front of our home crowd in the year and we're really looking forward to it," he said.

"We definitely want to go one better than last year where we slipped up against England in that final, and hopefully we can go all the way."

Source: Sport24

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