Eight Springbok Sevens players, amongst them regular captain Kyle Brown, are currently out injured or busy with rehabilitation following a demanding 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series.
Mark Richards became the latest Blitzbokke casualty earlier in the week after he pulled up injured with a raptured Achilles tendon. Following surgery, the livewire utility back will be out of action for the next six months, ruling him out of the South African leg of the Series scheduled for early December in Port Elizabeth.
Regular captain Kyle Brown (knee and shoulder) and Branco du Preez (shoulder) are also first-choice players on the casualty list and who are currently in a race against time to be fit for the start of the season. According to Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu, only Tshotsho Mbovane stands a reasonable chance of regaining full fitness in time for the Series opener on 13-4 October on the Australian Gold Coast.
Accepting that injuries will always be part of the game, Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu, has now turned his attention to identify and then fully prepare new talent for the upcoming season.
Treu and the SARU High Performance Department have earmarked a group of youngsters they hope will undergo tests in Cape Town shortly, with a view to include some of them in the Springbok Sevens training group.
Meanwhile, the rest of the training squad is enjoying a few days off after a rigorous pre-season training period. They will resume preparations next week at their base camp, the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.
The Springbok Sevens will attend an Absa Team activity on 15 September in Gansbaai and then travel up north to play in the annual Middelburg Sevens tournament from 21-22 September.
Treu also confirmed that Reuben Johannes (DHL Western Province Under-21 flank) and former Vodacom MTN Lions wing Marius Delport (currently unattached) were recently added to the training group.
The following Springbok Sevens are currently injured or undergoing rehabilitation:
Kyle Brown - knee and shoulder surgery, final phase of rehab;
Branco du Preez – shoulder, in final phase of rehab;
Mark Richards – raptured Achilles tendon, out for approx. 6 months; surgery planned for Sept 4;
Jamba Ulengo – shoulder surgery planned for 4 Sept, out for 3 months;
Boom Prinsloo – shoulder, out for 3 months;
William Small-Smith – torn knee ligaments (sustained during JWC), in rehab, out for approx. 2 more months;
Brandon Asher-Wood – fractured wrist, final phase of rehab;
Tshotsho Mbovane – knee injury (sustained during JWC), in final rehab phase.