11 April 2014
With only two tournaments, in Glasgow and London, left on the HSBC World Series schedule, the Springbok Sevens team is in the running to lift the overall title. However, they are going to have to do it without star forward Chris Dry, who has been ruled out of the two events with a back injury.
Dry injured his back in the Hong Kong Sevens, his 35th World Series tournament, at the end of March, and on Wednesday the South African Rugby Union confirmed that he would miss the forthcoming events.
The Springbok Sevens’ medical team said Dry will be out of action for 10 to 12 weeks. Depending on how his injury responds to treatment, he could possibly recover in time to be considered for the Commonwealth Games in July.
Second in the standings
The Blitzbokke head into the next round of the World Series in Glasgow in second place in the standings, with 129 points, just seven behind leaders, New Zealand.
They have appeared in five finals this season already, with those appearances being consecutively, winning in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas and finishing runner-ups in Dubai, Wellington and Tokyo.
Influential playmaker Cecil Afrika is also a doubtful starter for the final two tournaments after he suffered a groin strain in Hong Kong.
He is currently busy with a rehabilitation programme at the team’s base in Stellenbosch, where the medical team is monitoring his recovery efforts closely.
The two setbacks aside, there was also a good measure of positive news regarding the injury status of four other squad members.
Regular captain Kyle Brown is on course to recover fully from the blow to the head and concussion he suffered against France in the opening match in Hong Kong, while Branco du Preez, Seabelo Senatla and Phillip Snyman, who also picked up injuries, should all be fit and available for selection for the important trip to the United Kingdom.
Springbok Sevens’ coach Neil Powell will announce his 12-man squad on Wednesday, 23 April, two days before they fly out to Glasgow.
The full training squad resumes its preparations in Stellenbosch on 14 April following a short break.
South Africa finished second in the HSBC Sevens World Series in the 2012/13 season, 39 points behind New Zealand. This season, the battle for first place is set to go down to the wire.