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Gollings ready to rock George

Mon, 10 Dec 2012 09:32
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I think the ground has one of the most spectacular back drops
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Sevens legend Ben Gollings is ready to rock the inaugural Premier League tournament in George on Friday and Saturday.

Gollings, the all-time leading points scorer on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit said he can't wait to return to Outeniqua Park - the venue of some of his best performances on the regular circuit.

The English legend, Gollings, who scored an incredible 2652 points on the World Series circuit, will play for the All Stars team when the tournament takes place on Friday (December 14) and Saturday (December 15).

"I have never played in a tournament like this at invitational level," Gollings said.

"The only tournament I can think of with that kind of prize money is Hong Kong.

"It's great for Sevens and shows it growth," he added.

Gollings is based in Sri Lanka at the moment, where he is coaching that country in both the 15-man and Sevens codes.

"We have just finished the Asian series and have the Asia Five Nations in April. I also have a business with Waisale Serevi based in the USA."

Gollings is looking forward to play at Outeniqua Park again.

"It's great to be coming back to George," he said, adding: "I think the ground has one of the most spectacular back drops.

"The town and the surrounding are stunning and there is plenty to do and visit. I think it is the start of a new era in Sevens and I'm really looking forward to how the tournament plays out.

"George attracted a big crowd and I look forward to seeing all those supporters back out to watch Sevens in a different style where you get to see the big names playing together rather than against each other.

"I expect the rugby to be tough and competitive on the field," he said.

"I would never turn down the opportunity to visit South Africa and play rugby. My wife and I are really looking forward to the trip and would be great to get a safari in whilst we are there. My wife has never been to SA before so it is a real treat for her. Maybe we can play a game of golf too if we have time."

Gollings would love to don the English jersey again.

"I would love to still be playing at the top level of Sevens. It all finished a bit too quickly for me and I really miss it. It's always hard watching. If I ever had the opportunity to play again at the level I would definitely consider it strongly. I think England Sevens is in a transitional phase at the moment."

His attention will be on the 11 other teams in the George tournament for the next couple of days though.

"I don't know too much about all the other teams, but knowing how Sevens play out and can be won on the bounce of a ball we will have to watch out for all teams.

"I expect the Samurai team to be very strong. I don't think we will be taking any team lightly with a prize like that on offer."

Tournament promoter Willem Strauss said the presence of Gollings and other players who excelled on the Sevens fields of the world is a real boost for the tournament.

"If you look at some of the names of the players that will be in action, it is clear that everybody wants to win it and that will lead to spectacular Sevens rugby being played.

"You have a team like the Cheetahs, laden with Super Rugby players, amongst them Raymond Rhule.

"Then you have others, like the Blue Bulls and Western Province, who will play with their next generation of stars, including a number of Junior Springboks who won the Junior World Championship earlier this year," Strauss said.

"I am also very pleased that this tournament gives up and coming coaches like Darryl Weir, Roelof Kotze, Dawie Snyman and Gcobani Bobo an opportunity to coach at a very competitive level. This bodes well for the future of the game and indeed the tournament," Strauss said.

Confirmed teams:

Blue Bulls: Shaun Adendorff, Andre Warner, Roelof Smit, Jason Kriel, Jacques Rossouw, Christiaan de Bruin, Cornelius Cooper, Jesse Kriel, Daniel Kriel, Travis Ismaiel, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Clayton Blommetjies. Coach: Fielies Coetzee.

Boland Cavaliers: Philip van Zyl, Ben Venter, Ashton Constant, Ntando Kebe, Deston Wellman, Eric Zana, Tythan Adams, Thor Halvorsen, Garth April, Brendon April, Dual Erasmus, Albert Trytsman, Adi Jacobs, Franzel September. Coach: Abie Davids.

Cheetahs: Ryno Benjamin, Robbie van Schalkwyk, Marnus Schoeman, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Leon Karemaker, Boom Prinsloo, Pieter van Zyl, Sarel Pretorius, Willie le Roux, Barry Geel, Raymond Rhule, Philip Burger, Kevin Luiters, Hansie Graaff, Johann Sadie, Tertius Daniller. Coach: Hawies Fourie.

Kaizer Chiefs: Wilhelm Koch, Shuaib Samaai, Breyton Paulse (captain), Wandile Mjekevu, Jongi Nokwe, Gareth Krause, Junior Bester, Elmo Thomas, Cameron Jacobs, Friedrich Lombard, Adrian Jacobs. Coach: Gcobani Bobo.

Lions: Ruan Combrinck, Derick Minnie, Claude Tshibidi, Andries Coetzee, Robin Coetzee, Whestley Moolman, Morné Laubscher, Ruhan Nel, Jacques Nel, Ross Cronje, Senzo Shabalala. Coach: JP Ferreira.

Living Ball: Jonathan Mokuena, Reg Muller, Wendal Wehr, Alshaun Bock, Marius Delport, Dean Heymans, Shaun Davids, Donnovan Marais, Berty Visser, Earl Lewis, Stefan Terblanche, Dirk Dippenaar. Coach: Freddie Grobler.

Mighty Mohicans: Justin Peach, Christopher Juries, Julian Erasmus, Richard Prinsloo, Mark Winter, Josh Basingthwaighte, Tiger Bax, Jeandre Blom, NW Smit, Karlo Aspeling, Juan Smit, Andre Smit, Stefan de Villiers, Chris Cloete, Izak Saaiman. Coach: Dawie Snyman

All Stars: Stefan Basson, Ben Gollings, Zar Lawrence, MJ Mentz, JW Jonker, Juan Swanepoel, Danwell Demas, Rosco Specman, Jaco Bouwer, Deon Helberg, Danie Dames, Bok Barnard. Coach: Jimmy Stonehouse.

Samurai International: Pieter Engelbrecht, Kwagga Smith, Carel du Preez, Jack Wilson, Jack Welsch, Shannon Rick, Justin Geduld, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla, Derich Badenhorst, Henk de Ridder, Sergio Torrens. Coach: Marius Schoeman.

Sharks: Terra Mthembu, Brynard Stander, Subura Sithole, Peet Coetzee, Anton Verster, Gouws Prinsloo, Milo Ngoro, Mzo Mbona, Calvin Karnezos, Garath Meikle, Sean Robinson, Jaco van Tonder, Sizo Maseko. Coach: Roelof Kotze.

Vikings: Jonathan Adendorff, Lean Schwartz, Kempie Rautenbach, Fabian Juries, Mzwandile Stick ©, Anthony Volmink, Jacques Erasmus, Ruan Mostert, Jody Reynecke, Guy Cronje, Enrico Acker, Shane Spring. Coach: Darryl Weir.

Western Province: Ryan Smith, Sibusiso Notshe, Arno Johnson, Craig Pheiffer, Kobus Van Wyk, Clearance Khumalo, Freddie Muller, Tim Swiel, Dean Hammond, Dillyn Leyds, Craig Berry, Chevandre  van Schoor.  Coach: Jerome Paarwater.

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