Specman returns for BlitzBoks' final run

Fri, 05 May 2017 12:42
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Playmaker Rosko Specman is back in the BlitzBoks team for the final rounds of the Sevens World Series - in Paris and London.

It will also be a memorable first visit to Stade Jean Bouin for Dewald Human, who will debut for South Africa in the penultimate tournament of the World Series.
 
The BlitzBoks hold a commanding 25 point lead over second place Fiji with two tournaments of the 2016/17 season left and South Africa's final dash to the line and World Series glory will be boosted by the return of Specman, who missed the tournaments in Hong Kong and Singapore due to a hamstring injury sustained in Vancouver.
 
Despite their series lead, Springbok Sevens captain Philip Snyman said the team will be focused only on a strong performance in their opening game against Scotland.
 
"We have not started any of the eight tournaments this year looking at the log and will not do so for Paris either," Snyman said.
 
"Our mindset and attitude have been a simple one this year and we will stick to it, as it delivered the results. We have worked hard, prepared well and all want to go out there to represent our country and make ourselves and our supporters proud.
 
"Boring as it may sound, the focus will be nowhere else, but our opening game against Scotland. We have been successful when we found early momentum and that will be our objective again."
 
Specman and Human come in for Stedman Gans and Zain Davids respectively from the team that played in Singapore last month.

Gans and Davids have been named in the Junior Springboks team that will travel to Georgia later this month to play in World Rugby's Under-20 World Championship.
 
It is no co-incidence that Specman was involved in all four tournament victories in Dubai, Wellington, Sydney and Las Vegas, where he was named Player of the Final, but for Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, is it all about the team effort.
 
"It is great to have Rosko back – he has been in commanding form all season," Powell said.
 
"Having said that, I am actually happier having him back due to his contributions as a team player, as that is what we really stand for as a squad. It is all about believing in the system, which will then allow the individual to express himself."
 
Human, who plays as a sweeper, has been a regular for the SA Rugby Sevens Academy team in recent tournaments and also played in Super Rugby for the Southern Kings last year.
 
Powell was pleased for Human as well as Ryan Oosthuizen, who has been selected as one of the forwards travelling to Paris after making his debut in Hong Kong as the official reserve following an injury to Selvyn Davids. The former Western Province Under-21 midfielder then replaced Davids in the official squad for the HSBC Singapore Sevens a week later.
 
"Dewald has been around for a while now and has delivered solid performances for the Academy side, so I am really happy for him. Ryan is a well-grounded individual and also responded well to all the challenges he faced so far, so I am confident in having him in the squad," said Powell.
 
"We were looking at giving some youngsters opportunities this season anyway as we need to broaden our base and with Kyle Brown, Justin Geduld, Stephan Dippenaar, Carel du Preez and now Selvyn Davids out injured and Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith on Super Rugby duties, it created this opportunity for Dewald and Ryan."
 
Snyman will be backed up by the vastly experienced core of Chris Dry (60 tournaments), Branco du Preez (53 tournaments) and Cecil Afrika (51 tournaments).
 
South Africa will face Scotland, Japan and Canada in Pool A.

The tournament in Paris will be played on May 13 and 14.
 
South Africa: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Dylan Sage, Ryan Oosthuizen, Werner Kok, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Branco du Preez, Tim Agaba, Dewald Human, Cecil Afrika, Rosko Specman, Ruhan Nel.

Travelling reserve: Sandile Ncgobo

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28