Philip Snyman, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs outside back, has signed a two year contract with the Springbok Sevens and will play for the Blitzbokke until 2014.
His Cheetahs captain, centre Robert Ebersohn, also re-joined the Blitzbokke at their base camp in Stellenbosch and will be available for selection for the next four HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in Dubai, Port Elizabeth, Wellington and Las Vegas.
Snyman (7 tournaments) and Ebersohn (11 tournaments) have both represented the Springbok Sevens before their decision to concentrate on Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby.
The two Free State players add a wealth of experience to the Blitzbokke squad, who was further bolstered by the addition of MTN Golden Lions loose forward Warren Whiteley, Cheetahs scrumhalf Kevin Luiters, DHL Western Province Under-21 winger Tshepo Manaka and Sharks Under-21 centre Piet Lindeque.
The six players joined the rest of the Springbok Sevens training squad who all reported for duty again on Monday for the first time since returning from the Gold Coast Sevens, where the team finished third after losing only one of their six matches.
Ebersohn and Whiteley will rejoin their provinces in early February.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday at Stellenbosch, Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu, welcomed the signing of Snyman.
“Philip is a big, strong guy and he adds tremendous value to the squad. He has played some good rugby for the Cheetahs and I am delighted with his decision to join us for the next two years. He knows our set-up and the culture of the Springbok Sevens very well and it was great to see how easily he and Robert slotted into the mix again when they joined us yesterday.”
Regarding the highly rated Whiteley, Treu said: “Warren has impressed me the whole season with his consistently good performances for the Lions. He is very excited to be part of the Springbok Sevens, albeit on a short-term basis.”
Injuries to Springbok Sevens stalwart Cecil Afrika (knee) and Tshotsho Mbovane (fractured finger) has prompted the Blitzbokke management to call-up extra cover, hence the addition of Cheetahs livewire scrumhalf Luiters, speedy left wing Manaka and Lindeque.
The Blitzbokke training squad will prepare daily at their camp in Stellenbosch before heading for Dubai on 25 November. The team for Dubai and the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens tournament will be announced on 21 November during a media conference in Cape Town.
The full Springbok Sevens Squad is (all SARU contracted, unless stipulated otherwise):
1. Chris Dry
2. Kyle Brown
3. Stephan Dippenaar
4. Bernado Botha
5. Frankie Horne
6. Paul Delport
7. Branco Du Preez
8. Cecil Afrika
9. Steven Hunt
10. Robert Ebersohn (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
11. Tshotsho Mbovane
12. Ruwellyn Isbell
13. Cornal Hendricks
14. Warren Whiteley (MTN Golden Lions)
15. Philip Snyman
16. Kevin Luiters (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
17. Tshepo Manaka (DHL Western Province U21)
18. Piet Lindeque (The Sharks U21)
19. Reuben Johannes
20. Pieter Engelbrecht
21. Mark Richards