Current World Sevens Player of the Year Kok (knee) and playmaker Afrika (hamstring) were hurt during the Dubai tournament last weekend, with Afrika missing most of the event after getting injured in the opening match against Samoa.
Following a signing session with a few hundred fans at the V&A Waterfront on Wednesday afternoon, Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell said the diagnosis on Kok isn’t very positive.
“He sustained a knee injury in Dubai, and he is going to be out for a while. We must still determine how long he will be out for, and I think he is going for an operation on Thursday, so he will be out for a reasonably lengthy period,” the coach said.
Powell added that Afrika should return in the New Year ahead of the first tournament in 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand on the weekend of January 30-31.
The 12-man squad for the Cape Town Sevens tournament will be named on Thursday, but absence of Kok and Afrika is likely to result in Rosko Specman and Dylan Sage making the cut. The young duo were called up as injury cover earlier this week.
Specman has good agility and stepping skills who will play in the backline, while Sage is a sizable centre in 15-man rugby will make his debut as a forward in the World Rugby Sevens Series on Saturday and Sunday.
“I think Rosko had a brilliant tournament for the Samurai team in Dubai (the Blitzbokke ‘B’ team who won their event), and Dylan Sage also showed a lot of promise in the warm-up games we had in Stellenbosch and also for the Samurai in Dubai,” Powell added.
The Sevens Boks open their campaign at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday at 12.49pm in Pool B against Zimbabwe, after which they face Kenya at 4.10pm and round off the day against Dubai finalists England at 7.56pm.
Original source: Double injury blow for Blitzbokke