The Blitzbokke are unlikely to catch the Fijians on the World Sevens Series standings, as the islanders would have to flop spectacularly at Twickenham over the next two days if the South Africans were to stand a chance.
With 22 points for a victory, taking the London title is the least the Blitzbokke have to do, as it’s highly unlikely that Fiji are going to end up in the Bowl or Shield competitions.
So, it’s all about those 12 spots for the Rio Olympics in August, and a number of players who are not certainties for Brazil will hope to impress coach Neil Powell one last time.
One of those peripheral figures will be Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi, along with Dylan Sage, Chris Dry, Stephan Dippenaar and Ryan Kankowski. “Being the last tournament of the series, the boys are looking to go out there to finish on a high note. It’s a great opportunity for me, and if I just stick to the systems, the guys around me will help me to do my best,” Soyizwapi said.
“Everyone knows there is a lot of competition, but it’s healthy competition in the squad and it’s good that we can push each other to be competitive in Rio.”
The likes of Branco du Preez and Justin Geduld are certainties for Rio, while Stormers duo Cheslin Kolbe and Juan de Jongh did enough earlier in the season to secure their places – if they are not included in the 15-man Springbok squad, that is.
Coupled with Seabelo Senatla, Kyle Brown, Philip Snyman, Francois Hougaard, Cecil Afrika and Rosko Specman, that takes care of 10 places already. Someone like Tim Agaba has also come strongly into contention in the last few tournaments, so it’s going to be a tough task for Powell to choose his final squad.
The Blitzbokke open their Pool A campaign on Saturday morning against Canada (11.36am), followed by USA (2.46pm) and Paris Sevens champions Samoa (5.48pm), who knocked out the Blitzbokke in the Cup quarter-finals last weekend.
Chris Dry, Philip Snyman (captain), Tim Agaba, Ryan Kankowski, Francois Hougaard, Kyle Brown, Dylan Sage, Stephan Dippenaar, Rosko Specman, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Siviwe Soyizwapi.
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Original source: Blitzbokke’s final Olympic bid