Sharks, Cheetahs to field stars at sevens event

The Sharks and Cheetahs have confirmed that they will field some of their best Super Rugby players at the inaugural Sevens Premier League in December.

Five of South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises (Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs and Lions) will enter a team in the high-profile sevens event that will run in George on 14 and 15 December.

With a winners purse of R1 million, the coaches of these squads will take a serious aim at claiming the title.

Cheetahs team manager Arni van Rooyen said: ‘Coach Hawies Fourie will pick a team from our Super Rugby squad and once they assemble in two weeks, we will have a better idea of who will play. But the likes of Rayno Benjamin, Kabamba Floors, Boom Prinsloo, Sarel Pretorius and Willie le Roux should be core players.’

Sharks coach Roelof Kotze echoed Van Rooyen’s sentiments. The Durban union won the provincial tournament last weekend, beating the EP Kings in the final.

‘Some of those players [who played in the provincial tournament] will be part of our team traveling to George, but I am waiting to hear which of the wish list of Super Rugby players will be made available,’ said Kotze. ‘The likes of Keegan Daniel, Paul Jordaan and Cobus Reinach are amongst those. The prize money is a definite carrot for us as we can use that money to strengthen our sevens programme.’

There will also be five private teams taking part.

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse will mentor the All Star team that will include the likes of New Zealand sevens star Zar Lawrence, world sevens top points scorer and former England captain Ben Gollings and Samoan powerhouse Alafoti Fa’osiliva.