New dimension for George Sevens

Tue, 12 Nov 2013 12:02
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A new black-owned side, Eye of the Tiger Academy, will compete with other privately owned teams for the prize money of R1 million at the George Sevens Premier League.

A new black-owned side, Eye of the Tiger Academy, will compete with other privately owned teams for the prize money of R1 million at the George Sevens Premier League.

The Eye of the Tiger Academy is run by former SARU board member Viwe Qegu, and will do battle with the likes of the Sharks, Cheetahs, Western Province, Blue Bulls and Kaizer Chiefs at the tournament to be held at Outeniqua Park on December 13-14.

Qegu is a well-established business woman, who also was the first black South African Champion in Aerobic Gymnastics (in 1995), and sees the tournament as an ideal vehicle to improve and expose the emerging players of the Academy.

"I firmly believe this to be a worthwhile initiative and exposure which is of great benefit to the talented rugby youth of our country and is a worthy cause to support. The returns are very valuable, most notably in terms of the growth of rugby in the country as well as the enduring life-benefits to a young person who may otherwise never reach the success that this tournament makes possible," she said.

"The Eye of the Tiger will be first time entrants in this unique tournament and will be a dream come true for our young players. I view this competition as a great opportunity to showcase the young talent and give them exposure to the real world of rugby. This is also part of the real objectives of the Eye of the Tiger to teach, groom and expose so that there is complete readiness for the players for the future," added Qegu.

The team will boast players from six provinces and will be coached and managed by Ike Tuko and Marius Heyns (coaches) and Lubabalo Mpongoshe (manager).

"This is great to have them aboard," tournament promoter Willem Strauss said.

"Last year a private team, Samurai, won the tournament and no less than five of those players progressed into the national Sevens team and their coach, Neil Powell, has since being appointed as the Springbok Sevens coach. This proves that there is a definite pathway for players and coaches at this event," Strauss said.

"The tournament acts as a base to grow the game of Sevens in South Africa by exposing stars from the 15-man code to the shortened version. Sevens rugby will make its debut at the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and we are happy to add to our national base of players."

Strauss confirmed that the 2013 national interprovincial champions, the Leopards, have been invited as a wild card to join the tournament. The North West team won the national title two weeks ago.  

The other private team Living Ball could also be serious contenders.  At the recent Middelburg Sevens tournament they lost narrowly to the Blitzbokke in the Cup semifinal.

A Sevens competition for club teams, with a prize money of R30 000 will also form part of the George Sevens Premier League this year. Pool matches will take place at Evergreens in Pacaltsdorp while the finals will be played at Outeniqua Park on Friday.

There are currently no matches being played
Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 9 0 0 0 92
Wales Sevens 9 0 0 0 91
France Sevens 9 0 0 0 73
Scotland Sevens 9 0 0 0 48
United States Sevens 9 0 0 0 41
Kenya Sevens 9 0 0 0 40
New Zealand Sevens 9 3 0 0 167
Fiji Sevens 9 3 0 0 161
England Sevens 9 1 0 0 135
Samoa Sevens 9 1 0 0 133
South Africa Sevens 9 0 0 0 125
Australia Sevens 9 0 0 0 112
Canada Sevens 9 0 0 0 33
Spain Sevens 9 0 0 0 19
Portugal Sevens 9 0 0 0 18