Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has replaced the injured Paul Delport with Renfred Dazel for the Las Vegas tournament.
Delport has returned to South Africa after picking up a cheekbone injury at the Wellington Sevens, where the Blitzboks won the Plate title (5th place). This sees 30-year-old Dazel, who has featured at 35 tournaments, as the only change to the team that featured in New Zealand. The Blitzboks won the Cup title in Las Vegas last season, and will defend their title this weekend.
Meanwhile, Treu lamented the team’s defensive showing at the Wellington Sevens, especially in the 21-5 Cup quarter-final loss to Fiji.
‘We lost three lineouts against Fiji which gave them so much more opportunity to run at us,’ said Treu. ‘Although our defensive alignment was good for most part of the New Zealand tournament – especially on the first day – we did concede some linebreaks which hurt us. Stopping the soft tries will be paramount for us. In Wellington we conceded five tries without any phase play and we cannot allow the opposition to cross our line without effort.’
Treu added that there were positives.
‘Our kick-offs went well and Kyle Brown, Boom Prinsloo and Frankie Horne almost had a 50% turnover rate. The efficiency of our attacking play was especially pleasing because most of our tries were scored within two phases, which is a good strike rate.’
The Springbok Sevens will face Uruguay, Wales and France in Pool C.
Springbok Sevens – 1 Chris Dry, 2 Stephan Dippenaar, 3 Frankie Horne, 4 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Cornal Hendricks, 6 Kyle Brown (c), 7 Branco du Preez, 8 Bernado Botha, 9 Renfred Dazel, 10 Cecil Afrika, 11 Steven Hunt, 12 Mark Richards.