WP target World Club Sevens glory
WP target World Club Sevens glorySHARE
Western Province have announced a 12-man squad for the first-ever World Club Sevens which is to be played at Twickenham on August 17-18.
The eagerly-awaited two-day competition brings together, for the first time, clubs and provinces from the northern and southern hemispheres and WP are ready to join the party.
Western Province have been drawn in Pool A of the tournament, along with an English Premiership club (still to be confirmed), New York and VVA Moscow Region.
Pool B will see Northampton Saints, the Blue Bulls, San Francisco and Buenos Aires lock horns, with Harlequins, Auckland, the Brumbies and Kuban Krasnador doing battle in Pool C.
The WP team will be coached by experienced Sevens coach Ricky Petersen, who has assembled an exciting 12-man a squad to do battle at the home of English rugby.
Carel du Preez, Werner Kok and JP Lewis are all eligible for the WP Under-21s this year, with Du Preez (a 15-man lock/flank) and Lewis (a wing) both regular members of the WP U21 matchday team at present.
The likes of Armien Bailey (from Helderberg), Danwill Erasmus (SK Walmers), Stefan de Villiers (Maties) and Henry Wolhuter (Primrose) offer plenty of Sevens experience between them, whilst Ryan Nell (like Werner Kok, a Springbok Sevens player) is currently part of Allister Coetzee's Currie Cup training group.
Danie Roux is a big, strong winger from Stellenbosch University, Ivan-John du Preez is a speedy No.8 (in the 15-man game) who hails from the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy, whilst Josh Bassingthwaighte could surprise all after being plucked from the residence league at Stellenbosch.
Bassingthwaighte and De Villiers represented the SA Students Sevens team this year, with Bailey (2012), Arno Johnson (2011) and Henry Wolhuter (2007) having done so in previous seasons.
"I think we've assembled an exciting squad," said coach Petersen, who will announce his captain closer to the World Club Sevens.
"As a coach I prefer picking skilful players ahead of more physical players and I am comfortable that there is enough talent in this squad in terms of players being able to pass well off both hands and to step."
Looking ahead to the opportunity of playing in the inaugural World Cup Sevens at Twickenham, as one of teams invited by the organisers, Petersen added: "This is an exciting opportunity for the players selected and also for Western Province Rugby.
"We are fortunate enough to boast considerable talent in the union. I think it's a step in the right direction for us (to have been invited) and hopefully we can unearth some new talent in the process too.
"We would love to do as well as possible (in terms of winning the tournament), but our aim is to make a great impression in one way or another and to leave our mark at Twickenham on behalf of an historic union like Western Province."
Western Province Sevens squad: Carel du Preez, Josh Bassingthwaighte, Danie Roux, Armien Bailey, Stefan de Villiers, Werner Kok, Ryan Nell, Ivan-John du Preez, Arno Johnson, Henry Wolhuter, JP Lewis, Danwill Erasmus.