South African Sevens star Cecil Afrika is set to miss the opening tournaments of the upcoming World Series.
The IRB Sevens Player of the Year Nominee broke his cheekbone for the second time in within a year during a pre-season friendly against Argentina in Stellenbosch on Friday. Afrika picked up a similar injury against Wales during the George leg of last season’s campaign.
Afrika is set to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, which will see him miss the the World Series opening tournament in Gold Coast, Australia (25-26 November) and the following tournament in Dubai (2-3 December).
Head coach Paul Treu hopes to have Afrika available by the Port Elizabteh leg on 9-10 December.
‘We are all gutted for Cecil,’ says Treu. ‘He has worked very hard in training with the rest of the squad and was looking towards a good start to the new season. At this stage it is unclear whether he would return in time to be considered for the SA Sevens tournament in Port Elizabeth.
‘Cecil has already shown he has the determination and strength to overcome adversity and I have no doubt he will work just as hard to come back even stronger.’
The Blitzboks squad has resumed training at their Stellenbosch base but the full complement of players will only be available at the conclusion of the Currie Cup later this month.