Juries to start from the bench
Fabian Juries, South Africa’s most experienced sevens player, will make his eagerly awaited return to international action from the bench against France at Twickenham on Saturday in the Springbok Sevens’ opening pool match of the London Sevens tournament.
Juries made the last of his 42 tournament appearances at Murrayfield in 2008, but brings with him a wealth of experience as the third highest try-scorer of all time in the IRB Sevens World Series with 173 tries, behind Santiago Gomez Cora (Argentina, 227) and Ben Gollings (England, 198).
Currently on the books of Vodacom Western Province, Juries returned to the Springbok Sevens team for the season-ending Series tournaments in London and Murrayfield.
He is joined by two more stalwarts Mzwandile Stick and Neil Powell, and the presence of the trio has now added a much more familiar look to coach Paul Treu’s team.
Treu said Juries has adjusted well since joining the squad a few weeks ago, but he will not start in the opening match against France.
“We will start playing him off the bench and hopefully he will find his feet quickly, after which we can move him into the starting line-up.
“I can still see glimpses of his brilliance and hopefully he can use his feet, his experience and just let the ball do the work.”
The coach added his team was determined to improve on their below par performances so far this season.
“The guys know they need to play to their full potential.
Although we have blooded many youngsters during the season, we still managed to create a lot of opportunities against the strongest teams.
“However, compared to last season, we battled to strike those vital scoring blows when the opportunities presented themselves.
“I hope with Fabba, Stick and Neil back, the team will show more composure and take their chances,” said Treu.
He also cautioned that competition for the season finale will be fierce because all the top teams have loaded their squads in the hope of ending the season on a high note.
The squad: Mpho Mbiyozo, Chase Minnaar, Frankie Horne, Cecil Afrika, Neil Powell, Kyle Brown, Fabian Juries, Ryno Benjamin, Chris Dry, Mzwandile Stick, Hoffman Maritz, MJ Mentz.
SuperSport 6 will broadcast the Twickenham action live from 11.15am on Saturday and Sunday.
The Springbok playing schedule on Saturday (SA times): 12.36pm, South Africa v France; 3.42pm, South Africa v Canada, 7.44pm, South Africa v Fiji.