Springbok Sevens scrumhalf Branco du Preez suffered a hamstring injury earlier today and will not play in the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, SARU confirmed on Wednesday.
Du Preez, one of the senior players in the squad, will travel home on Wednesday evening and his replacement, Ruwellyn Isbell, has already joined the Blitzbokke squad. Isbell travelled to Dubai over the weekend as part of the SARU Elite Player Development squad.
Isbell made his Springbok Sevens debut recently during round one of the HSBC Sevens World Series at the Gold Coast in Brisbane, Australia.
The Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens takes place on Friday and Saturday. South Africa, a three-time winner in Dubai, face tournament champions England, Samoa and Portugal during the pool stages on Friday.
Meanwhile, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu confirmed that former IRB Sevens Player of the Year Cecil Africa will join the squad on Monday in Port Elizabeth.
The playmaker did not accompany the squad to Dubai because of a niggling knee injury.
“Cecil’s recovery is progressing very nicely and he will undergo another fitness test before the end of the week to ascertain his readiness. Irrespective of the outcome of the fitness test, he will still join us in PE next week so that our medical staff can keep an eye on him” explained Treu.
The Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens will be held on 8 and 9 December at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the Friendly City.
Tickets to this rugby Sevens showpiece in the Eastern Cape are available at all Computicket outlets and also online at www.computicket.co.za