Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Last chance saloon for Blitzboks: Snyman names squad for Olympics qualifier

Only the winner of the tournament in Monaco will advance to the Paris Games later this year.

Coach Philip Snyman has picked the men he believes will help the Blitzboks win the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco next weekend and qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris.

The tournament is the Blitzboks’ last chance to secure a place at the showpiece in Paris.

Back in the squad are experienced campaigners Zain Davids and Shilton van Wyk and according to Snyman they will bring freshness to the squad after being rested for the team’s last trip to Europe just a few weeks ago.


“Both Zain and Shilton played in all the tournaments for us and we felt it would be better for them to miss the Madrid one and to freshen up for Monaco, as they will be needed in what is a very important tournament for us,” Snyman explained.

South Africa will play Mexico, Tonga and Chile in pool play in the tournament where the winner will fill the last spot at the Rugby Sevens tournament at the Olympics.

The squad for Monaco will only consist of 12 players and not the 13 that usually travel to the series events.

“We needed a little bit of versatility in the squad, as you have one player less and for us, Siviwe Soyizwapi, will fill that role and will play on the wing and in the forwards. We are also lucky to have Selvyn Davids and Rosko Specman who can play in several positions.”

‘Goal is straightforward’

Snyman said they travel to Monaco on Sunday with a clear mind on the task ahead.

“The goal is straight forward, and that is to win in Monaco and gain entry to the Paris Olympics. The whole squad is in agreement that we were our own worst enemies during the Sevens series and only we can fix that.”

Their preparations went well and they will have confidence in getting the job done.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves and no one is thinking Paris yet. We need to lay a foundation against Mexico and follow it up on Day Two and get the best possible draw for the playoffs on Day Three,” said Snyman.

Pools in Monaco:

A: South Africa, Chile, Tonga, Mexico
B: Great Britain, Canada, Uganda, China
C: Spain, Hong Kong China, Papua New Guinea, Brazil

Blitzboks schedule:

Friday, 21 June
5.32pm: Mexico

Saturday 22 June
2.32pm: Tonga
7.32pm: Chile

Springbok Sevens squad for Monaco:

Christie Grobbelaar, Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Quewin Nortje, Tiaan Pretorius, Shaun Williams, Selvyn Davids (capt), Tristan Leyds, Rosko Specman, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shilton van Wyk

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