Springbok Sevens captain Frankie Horne will miss the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow next month because of injury.
The most experienced Springboks Sevens player ever injured a shoulder during the last round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in London and will undergo an operation to fix the damage next week.
He has a fractured bone in his shoulder and also suffered ligament damage.
Horne made history two weeks ago by becoming the first player in history of Sevens to play 50 consecutive tournaments on the HSBC Sevens World Series and guided South Africa to three tournament wins during the 2012/13 series.
Horne is expected to be back in training in three months’ time and should be fit for the opening tournament of the 2013/14 HSBC World Sevens Series, in Gold Coast, Australia on 12 and 13 October 2013.
Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu also confirmed the unavailability of regular squad member, Paul Delport, due to a knee injury. The sweeper injured his knee in the team’s last tournament win in Glasgow and has already undergone surgery to repair ligament damage. He is expected to be out of action for six months.
“The series has never been more competitive than now and the toll on the players is evident,” said Treu.
“Frankie and Paul are definite no starters in Moscow, which is a great pity as they have shown themselves to be world beaters. We also have Branco du Preez (groin), Cecil Afrika (knee), Stephan Dippenaar and Steven Hunt (foot ligaments) out injured and in various stages of rehab, but we’re confident they should be ready to go to Russia.”
Regular captain, Kyle Brown, is also in a race against time to be fit for the Moscow showpiece. He injured his ankle in Dubai in December and is still doing rehabilitation.
• Treu will visit the various Vodacom Super Rugby franchises next week to confirm the release of requested players identified as possible RWC7s participants.
An official Rugby World Cup Sevens training squad will assemble in Stellenbosch on June 3. Treu will take a team to the Roma Sevens in Rome on June 14 and 15 before returning to South Africa.
The final 12 player squad to attend the Rugby World Cup Sevens will be announced on June 20.