Former Bok set to make Blitzboks debut

Travis Ismaiel, who played for the Junior Springboks and Springboks earlier in his career, is set to make his Blitzbok debut.

Travis Ismaiel will complete a national team trifecta at the LA Sevens next weekend after being named in the Springbok Sevens squad that will contest the North American leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series later this month.

Ismaiel is set to complete a rare hat-trick of national team selections as previously played for the Junior Springboks and Springboks.

His inclusion is one of three changes to the side that played in the final of the Sydney Sevens late last month.

Springbok Sevens coach Sandile Ngcobo also included Ronald Brown and Mfundo Ndhlovu in this squad as the Blitzboks look to consolidate their top-four spot in the World Series.

The trio come in for Darren Adonis and Dalvon Blood, who picked up season-ending injuries in Sydney, as well as for Shaun Williams, who sustained a knee injury at training this week.

Ngcobo welcomed the inclusion of Ismaiel for the first time.

“Travis worked very hard to come back from what seemed to be a career-ending shoulder injury and all of the rugby fraternity should be very pleased about this good news story,” said Ngcobo.

“I expect him to make a real impact in Los Angeles and credit to our high performance manager Marius Schoeman, who made a brave decision to bring Travis into our set-up when he had nowhere else to go.”

The return of Brown and Ndhlovu comes at a very appropriate time. “Ronald and Mfundo bounced back well after their disappointments in Hong Kong and they return at the right time, as we lost Selvyn Davids and Darren Adonis on the last trip, and Shaun during the week.

“Both are World Series winners, and we will need their game-breaking abilities in Los Angeles in what will be very competitive tournament once again.”

There was concern over Blitzbok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi, who suffered a shoulder injury in Sydney, but he came through the final training session unscathed and will again lead the team. South Africa will face Ireland, Uruguay and Canada in Pool B.

The Springbok Sevens squad (with World Series stats):

  • Ryan Oosthuizen – 37 tournaments, 177 matches (185 points, 37 tries)
  • Impi Visser – 26 tournaments, 135 matches (125 points, 25 tries)
  • Zain Davids – 37 tournaments, 187 matches (170 points, 34 tries)
  • James Murphy – 13 tournaments, 58 matches (55 points, 11 tries)
  • Christie Grobbelaar – 12 tournaments, 60 matches (95 points, 19 tries)
  • Masande Mtshali – four tournaments, four matches
  • Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 45 tournaments, 233 matches (700 points, 140 tries)
  • Travis Ismaiel – uncapped
  • Jaiden Baron – two tournaments, 10 matches (20 points, four tries)
  • Ricardo Duarttee – four tournaments, 23 matches (102 points, seven tries, 32 conversions, one penalty goal)
  • Ronald Brown – nine tournaments, 49 matches (303 points, 29 tries, 79 conversions)
  • Shilton van Wyk – nine tournaments, 51 matches (115 points, 23 tries)
  • Mfundo Ndhlovu – 11 tournaments, 49 matches (60 points, 12 tries)

Read original story on www.sarugbymag.co.za

 
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