Cecil Afrika will headline the Springboks Sevens Select team to play in the Roma Seven tournament in Rome’s URC Stadium on 20 and 21 June.
Afrika has been included in the Springbok Sevens squad that will participate for Team South Africa in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month and has this opportunity to regain match fitness in Rome after injuries side-lined him in the latter part of the regular season of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell also named a number of fringe players for the tournament, which was won by South Africa last year in their build-up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
Three players, Shaun Adendorff, WJ Strydom and Mark Richards will again make the trip, whilst Paul Delport will be keen to show that he is over the injury problems that prevented his participation in the HSBC series. Regular series participants Steven Hunt and Jamba Ulengo will also travel, as well as a number of players from the Sevens Elite Player Development Programme.
Powell is keen to have Afrika fit and ready for the Glasgow showpiece and hopes he will come through Rome well.
“It is a great opportunity to get a player like Cecil same game time because haven't played in a while. Every tournament we go to, we want to win, so results will be important, but this is also an ideal opportunity for the squad to get back into the groove of playing tournament sevens again,” the coach said.
“With the next HSBC series also on the horizon, it will be a good exercise to see the fringe players perform under pressure away from home.”
Amongst the 16 teams participating are the national teams from France, Italy, Georgia and Brazil.
The South African team departs from Cape Town on Tuesday.
The team is:
1. Nardus van Der Walt
2. Joshua Moon
3. Shaun Adendorff
4. Jamba Ulengo
5. Vincent Maruping
6. Paul Delport
7. Lungelo Gosa
8. WJ Strydom
9. Sandile Ngcobo
10. Cecil Afrika
11. Mark Richards
12. Steven Hunt