Tue 28 Nov 2017, 08:35
Catch all the action as the Blitzboks begin the defence of their World Sevens Series title in the Dubai Sevens this coming weekend.
Tune in for live Dubai Sevens Rugby on Friday 1 December on SuperSport 1 (DStv Channel 201) from 06:50. Action from the second day kicks-off Saturday 2 December on SuperSport 1 (DStv Channel 201) at 07:20.
The Dubai leg of the Series was the Blitzboks’ launch pad last year to eventually capturing the overall title and holds fond memories for head coach Neil Powell and his charges and will be hoping that a sense of deja’ vu prevails.
From there they went on to reach the quarter-finals in all 10 stopovers on the circuit, advancing to the final on eight of those occasions, winning in Dubai, Wellington, Sydney, Las Vegas and Paris.
That pattern of consistency is certainly what Powell and his experienced team (average number of tournaments per player is 37) will be seeking to replicate in the new cycle.
The return to action of former captain Kyle Brown and Justin Geduld from injury layoffs and Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Sonatla from a spell of Super Rugby, is also a welcome boost.
Expect the likes of England, Fiji, a resurgent New Zealand and even the emergent Scotland to continue breathing heavily down the Blitzboks’ collars throughout the Series, while the USA and Australia always remain a constant threat.
South Africa will contest Pool A, which has a distinctly African flavour to it and also features Kenya, Uganda and Canada. They open their account against Uganda on Friday (08:50 SA time).
Interesting Facts (Blitzboks):
• Cecil Afrika is South Africa’s all-time leading points’ scorer in the World Series - 1 297 points
• Branco du Preez is the Blitzboks’ all-time leading kicker with successful conversions - 329 conversions.
• Seabelo Senatla is the all-time leading try-scorer for the Blitzboks - 189 tries
Past Winners Last Five Years (Dubai): 2016/17: South Africa. 2015/16: Fiji. 2014/15: South Africa. 2013/14: Fiji. 2012/13: Samoa.
Dubai Sevens (Pools):
Pool A: South Africa, Canada Kenya, Uganda.
Pool B: England, Scotland, France, Spain.
Pool C: Fiji, Australia, Wales, Russia.
Pool D: New Zealand, USA, Argentina, Samoa.
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By Trevor Cramer