Blitzbokke not taking anything for granted


“Every team is different, and we can't underestimate any of them. We can't rest players for the play-offs on the assumption that we'll get there,” said Powell, who is preparing for the first pool B match against Zimbabwe.

On Thursday the team went through the final stages of preparation in a pool that will also see them play Kenya and England.

The inclusion of sevens rugby in the 2016 Rio Olympics has turned up the pressure, with many teams using the HSBC Sevens World Series to experiment with players and tactics.

The Blitzbokke are among the teams experimenting, having included a number of 15s players in their original squad, as well as in their final squad selected for this weekend's tournament.

Powell also admits the intensity has certainly increased immensely in this tournament as a result of the upcoming Olympics.

“A lot of emphasis has been placed on the competition this year because of this. Everyone is preparing for the Olympics, so I suspect more teams will be competing in finals this year.”

There are only two changes to the team for Dubai that won the Plate Final, these being Rosco Spekman and Dylan Sage.

They duo replace the injured Cecil Afrika and Werner Kok. While these injuries are a blow to the team, Powell says they have been advantageous in affording other players more game time.

Captain Kyle Brown will earn his 50th cap for the team, but says that the only thing he plans to do in celebration is to “play a good game of rugby.” Both days of the tournament are to be played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Cape Town stadium.

Blitzbokke team: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Francois Hougaard, Kwagga Smith, Dylan Sage, Kyle Brown (c), Cheslin Kolbe, Ryno Benjamin, Justin Geduld, Rosco Speckman, Seabelo Senatla, Juan de Jongh. - African News Agency (ANA)

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