Kiwis and Irish await Lightning in Vancouver

Henry

After a disappointing fifth place and a few injuries in Perth, Sandile Ngcobo hopes that fresh legs will ensure a stronger performance in North America.

The Blitzbokke will play in Vancouver from February 23 to 25, after which the sevens action will move to Los Angeles.

“We need a fresh group of players for this session because we are playing two tournaments in a row,” said the national sevens coach.

“Unfortunately, a few of the guys suffered injuries in Perth, but at the same time it also gives us an opportunity to choose a fit and strong group for the upcoming tournaments.”

Impi Visser, Shaun Williams, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld and Darren Adonis will travel with the team to North America.

South Africa plays its first Vancouver match against New Zealand, after which matches against Great Britain and Ireland follow.

“Rosko and Justin provide loads of experience and sevens prowess, while Impi also makes a welcome return after struggling with a sore neck. We are drawn in a very physical group and it is very good to have a player of his quality back; we will definitely have to fight fire with fire.”

The Blitzbokke are currently fourth in the HSBC standings after winning the first tournament in Dubai.

A couple of struggling performances in Cape Town and Perth mean that they definitely need to find a higher gear in Vancouver.

According to Ngcobo, the competition is strong and his team cannot afford to lose concentration for one second.

“In Vancouver we play against physical opponents and we must not back down to them. There is definitely not going to be such a thing as an easy game. However, the group of players we have selected knows what it takes to get through tough games and I expect us to dish out competitive play.”

  • Blitzbok group: Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Selvyn Davids (captain), Shaun Williams, Shilton van Wyk, Rosko Specman, David Brits, Darren Adonis, Justin Geduld, Tristan Leyds, Ricardo Duarttee and Katlego Letebele.
  • Vancouver Terms:

Friday:

23:52: South Africa v New Zealand

Saturday:

04:56: South Africa v Great Britain

11.05pm: South Africa v Ireland.