Sevens Boks face big NZ task

South Africa has received a tough pool draw for the New Zealand Sevens tournament in Wellington on 6 – 7 February.

The IRB announced the draw for the NZI Sevens on Thursday and South Africa were handed what is arguably the toughest pool challenge of the top sides.

The Springbok Sevens will play Kenya, Scotland and Tonga on day one in Pool A at the Westpac Stadium.

South Africa is leading the IRB Sevens World Series at the moment with a full house of 40 points after winning the opening two tournaments in Dubai and George.

According to Treu, Dubai and George will be a tough act to follow in Wellington:

“There is no doubt that it will be the most physical and demanding of all tournaments of the World Series. All the teams will be at full strength as they start to prepare for the Rugby World Cup and to seek that early advantage,” said Treu.

The SA Sevens coach has ruled out the inclusion of any 15-a side stars to bolster his squad for the world showpiece in Dubai.

“We made the decision a while ago not to call on players outside of our core training squad. We have a young team who is still finding its feet and keeping them together is the best way to get that much sought after continuity,” explained Treu.

He added his team is looking forward to the pool encounter against Tonga, but Treu rejects the tag as tournament favourites because of South Africa’s good start to the season.

“Losing against Tonga at the quarter-finals in Wellington last year is still fresh in our minds and there is no doubt that we will have to be at our very best on day.

“However, New Zealand is the defending and Series champions and they will definitely be the team to beat, especially in front of a sell-out Westpac crowd. Fiji and Samoa always enjoy great support at that ground and they seem to save their best for Wellington.”

Pool A
South Africa, Kenya, Scotland, Tonga

Pool B
New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Niue

Pool C
England, Argentina, France, Canada

Pool D
Fiji, Samoa, USA, Cook Islands