Paul Treu has announced his 23-man Blitzboks training squad ahead of the 2011-12 Sevens World Series campaign.
There are four new additions to the SA Sevens squad in former Bulls centre Stephan Dippenaar, WP U21 flanker Reuben Johannes, Boland utility back Cornal Hendricks and Tuks wing Dirk Dippenaar. The Cheetahs have also allowed centre Robert Ebersohn, who was contracted to the Blitzboks in 2008-09, to play in the opening Australian and Dubai tournaments before Super Rugby next year.
The training group met in Stellenbosch on Monday to begin preparations for the upcoming campaign. Eight players were missing because of injury and provincial commitments. IRB Sevens Player of the Year Cecil Afrika (broken cheekbone), Branco du Preez (ankle), Craig Barry (pelvis), Tshotsho Mbovane (knee) and Pieter Engelbrecht (ankle) are all sidelined while Sharks trio Lubabalo Mtembu, Paul Jordaan and Sibusiso Sithole are unavailable after featuring in the U21 provincial final last weekend.
Treu will confirm his 12-man travelling squad to the opening tournament on the Gold Coast, Australia on 11 November. The season starts on 25-26 November and the teams will then be in action for the following two weeks in Dubai (2-3 December) and PE, South Africa (9-10 December).
Blitzboks training squad:
Forwards - Chase Minnaar, Kyle Brown, Frankie Horne, Chris Dry, Neil Powell, Boom Prinsloo, Reuben Johannes, Cornal Hendricks, Dirk Dippenaar, Pieter Engelbrecht.
Backs – Paul Delport, Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, Steven Hunt, Renfred Dazel, Bernado Botha, Mark Richards, Craig Barry, Tshotsho Mbovane, William Small-Smith, Stephan Dippenaar, MJ Mentz, Robert Ebersohn.