Tough assignment for SA Rugby Sevens Academy
January 06, 2018
It will be tough, but the SA Rugby Sevens Academy's motto of "No Excuses" will be put to the test in South America this weekend.

The squad has a number of objectives for the SudamericaRugby7s tournament that starts in Punta del Este in Uruguay on Saturday and will be keen to meet all of them, according to coach, Marius Schoeman, who said the assignment will test the physical and mental ability of the recently assembled squad.

Not only will the tournament be contested by a significant number of very competitive international teams, the South Africans are also out of their comfort zone, having travelled from Cape Town early in the week with a number of new faces in their squad and still adjusting to the new time zones.

They face Paraguay, Chile and Germany in Pool A of the competition.

Schoeman said they know very little about their South American opponents.

"Paraguay will be an unknown factor to us. We expect them to attack us at the rucks, so will make sure that we protect our ball in that phase. Most South American teams like a physical approach, especially at the rucks, so we will focus on making sure that we do not lose that contest," Schoeman explained.

"Chile also played in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series before, so will be another tough hurdle for us. We have not seen them here all week, so also do not know what to expect."

They have faced Germany in recent months though and saw them play in Dubai in December. "Germany is coached by our former Blitzboks colleague, Vuyo Zangqa, and they will be well prepared. They are improving all the time under his guidance. So we have three pretty tough matches awaiting us," Schoeman said.

The team will see three new faces in Rhyno Smith, Muller du Plessis and Angelo Davids and according to Schoeman, all three adapted well. Smith, a stand-out for the Cell C Sharks, 'brought some nice energy into the squad', while Du Plessis and Davids are highly rated by all.

"Both received news that they passed their matric exams and now can focus on representing their country," Schoeman smiled.

The team will be captained by Dewald Human.

South Africa play Paraguay at 21h45, Chile at 00h59 and Germany 02h11 Sunday morning (all SA times).

The squad is: Marco Labuschagne, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, JC Pretorius, Ryan Oosthuizen, Muller du Plessis, Dewald Human, Selvyn Davids, Rhyno Smith, Stedman Gans, Mosolwa Mafuma, Angelo Davids. Management: Marius Schoeman (manager/coach); Sandile Ngcobo (assistant coach), Nadia Clenzos (physiotherapist).

•Pool B consists of USA, France, Uruguay and Brazil. Pool C will be contested by Canada, Argentina, Ireland and Colombia.

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