South Africa

Blitzboks recall veteran stars for Singapore tournament

Dylan Sage 1

He may be 32 years old and have been out of Sevens rugby for four years but South African Blitzboks coach Philip Snyman believes Dylan Sage can still offer his team something after recalling him to the squad for the World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Singapore next weekend.

The Blitzboks have endured a miserable season, which has resulted in a change in the coaching structures with Snyman taking over from Sandile Ngcobo as head coach, but they are hoping to end their campaign on a high in the coming weeks.

Dylan Sage back in mix

Sage, who has been playing XV-man rugby at the Bulls and at Montauban in France, is not the only new face in the squad for the trip to Singapore. Former captain Siviwe Soyizwapi is also back in the squad for the first time this season, after missing five months of action with a knee injury.

The inclusion of the two stalwarts are among five changes made to the squad that finished sixth in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Also back in the mix are Tiaan Pretorius, Tristan Leyds and Rosko Specman. The Blitzboks will face France, Spain and Samoa in Pool B at the tournament.

“We selected the squad with several things in mind. We still have to put ourselves in a position to make the top four in every tournament and to do that, we want to top our pool and then win our quarter-final,” said Snyman on Wednesday.

“We also are gearing up for the Grand Finale in Madrid (the last of the season’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments) and the very important Olympic repechage tournament.”

The Blitzboks still have to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

‘Experienced players’

Snyman said he was pleased about the return of Sage, Soyizwapi and Specman.

“They are three massively experienced players with very positive personalities and will bring energy and skill to this group,” he said.

“‘Shakes’ worked really hard to get back to fitness and Dylan slotted in as if he never left. Rosko was due to play in Hong Kong, so we are happy to have him fit and ready this time.”

The team will depart for Singapore on Sunday.

Blitzboks squad for Singapore:

Christie Grobbelaar, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Tiaan Pretorius, Selvyn Davids (capt), Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shilton van Wyk, Rosko Specman, Tristan Leyds, Dylan Sage, Quewin Nortje, Katlego Letebele