Late injury blow for Blitzboks

03 April 2019 - 15:54 By Craig Ray
Siviwe Soyizwapi of the South Africa scores during day 1 of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens Pool A, match 15 between South Africa vs Zimbabwe at Cape Town Stadium on December 08, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Siviwe Soyizwapi of the South Africa scores during day 1 of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens Pool A, match 15 between South Africa vs Zimbabwe at Cape Town Stadium on December 08, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

The Blitzboks will go into this weekend’s Hong Kong Sevens with a reshuffled squad after forward Zain Davids was injured in practice on Wednesday.

Chris Dry‚ who travelled to Asia as the official 13th man‚ is now promoted to the 12-man squad while James Murphy has been hastily called up to join the squad in Hong Kong.

Davids sustained a shoulder injury in training on Wednesday‚ which prompted coach Neil Powell to make hasty arrangements. Dry though‚ has played 67 World Series tournaments and brings a wealth of experience.

Murphy made his debut in Hong Kong last year and also played in Singapore for the Blitzboks. He will join the squad on Thursday.

Davids’s injury will not dampen the Blitzboks’ enthusiasm and the intensity at training remained high‚ something team captain‚ Siviwe Soyizwapi‚ believes to be a good sign prior to their first match against Japan on Friday.

“We have been training very well – the intensity is high‚ the guys are keen and the input very good‚” said Soyizwapi.

“There has been good energy and the fact that we are enjoying each other’s company off the field as well makes everyone keen to get started.”

Soyizwapi is under no illusion of the task ahead and the challenges facing the Blitzboks‚ despite having won the previous tournament in Vancouver‚ which consolidated SA’s position in the top four.

“We have a lot of new combinations and younger players in the squad and we almost need to start over‚” Soyizwapi said. “It is exciting for us‚ but also demanding on the system.

“It started at the camp in Stellenbosch already‚ the eagerness to take on the next challenge – in this case‚ Hong Kong.”

Soyizwapi believes he knows the triggers to make the team perform best.

“We are a happy team. We play best when the guys are in a good space and happy with each other's company and playing for the guys next to you. If we get that going early‚ it will be a goal achieved and a box ticked.”

South Africa face Samoa and Scotland on Saturday.

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