GARETH DUNCAN picks the top five players to watch at the PE Sevens this weekend.
CECIL AFRIKA (South Africa)
There’s great excitement inside the Springbok Sevens camp with the return of their star playmaker. The IRB Sevens Player of the Year, who suffered a rib injury in Australia a fortnight ago, passed a fitness test on Wednesday and will play in front of his home crowd for the first time. Expect Afrika to spearhead the South African attack with his exciting runs and clever plays.
TOMASI CAMA (New Zealand)
Cama Jnr has been in impressive form this season. The son of former Fijian sevens legend Tomasi Cama, New Zealand’s all-time top points scorer has clearly inherited his father’s talents and has played a central role for his adopted country. He currently tops the World Series points table with 76 and has scored eight tries. The Kiwis suffered a slump in Dubai last weekend, but expect Cama to spark a strong showing in PE.
JOELI LUTUMAILAGI (Fiji)
If you thought former WP and Stormers wing Sireli Naqelevuki was a Fijian monster with speed, keep an eye on Lutumailagi. The 27-year-old has been the Pacific Island side’s top performer this season, scoring 11 tries in the opening two tournaments to help his team top the World Series standings. Usually a lock in 15s, Lutumailagi weighs a massive 125kg, stands at 1.93m and has major gas.
TERRY BOUHRAOUA (France)
Picture Sarel Pretorius with rugged edge. Bouhraoua has been in great form on attack and defence for France, who have emerged as Cup contenders this season. The braided, stocky Frenchman has scored 50 points to date, but it’s his overall influence in general play that’s been key in his team’s strong start to the season. France’s success in PE will depend on how Bouhraoua goes this weekend.
MATT TURNER (England)
The Bishops old boy returns to his native South Africa, where he was once a star wing on the national schools scene before playing for WP’s junior teams and UCT. But a lack of opportunities saw Turner move to England, where he has been drawn in by the sevens squad. Since making his World Series debut in 2008, he’s shown huge promise with his natural pace. He has already scored 12 tries this season and played a key part in England’s Cup triumph in Dubai.
This article was first published on SA Rugby magazine’s mobile website: sarmag.mobi