Habana’s Olympic prospects looking bleak


And there could be two surprise inclusions, as Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant might make a late bid for selection once he recovers from a broken jaw, while 2015 World Sevens Player of the Year Werner Kok is almost back from his long-term knee ligament injury. Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell will name his squad later on Friday for the last two World Sevens Series events in Paris (May 13-15) and London (May 20-22), and it won't include Habana, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The SuperSport website reports that Powell will still consider Habana - who plays for French club Toulon - for the Olympic squad, but it looks like a long shot at the moment.

“I did speak to Bryan in this past week and he has unfortunately got a hamstring injury that will rule him out in both Paris and London. But we are still looking to get him involved for Rio,” Powell said. “The only problem is the fact he can't play in London and Paris would mean that we need to judge him on the two tournaments he played - Vegas and Vancouver.

“The other problem he has is that the training camp we have scheduled might fall in the semi-finals and finals of the Top 14 of the French club league. But hopefully we can still get Bryan to join us at some stage, otherwise unfortunately, we will see what happens from there and we will take it as it comes.”

Other 15s players originally mooted to be part of the Blitzbokke squad, such as Springboks Teboho Mohoje, Lwazi Mvovo and Cornal Hendricks, were or are still injured and weren't able to do the rigorous pre-season training required to be fit for sevens.

And just this week, two further Boks in Damian de Allende and Warren Whiteley, as well as Lions flank Jaco Kriel, ruled themselves out of contention as they hope to be picked by Allister Coetzee for the three-Test series against Ireland in June.

Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski are also 15s Boks, but they are already contracted to the sevens team and are available for selection. But an extra tournament has been organised in Rome on June 10-11 to provide one final chance for the likes of Kok and Gelant to prove their fitness.

Veteran forward Frankie Horne is also set to feature, although he may even be ready for Paris and London over the next fortnight. “The only other 15s player we are looking at is Warrick Gelant. We spoke to him this past week and he is still keen to get involved,” Powell said. “That is why we organised that tournament in early June - the 10th and 11th - to test players that came back from injury. Werner Kok will probably play there and we will try and get Warrick to play there as well. “A guy like Frankie Horne might have another opportunity there. He should be back in time for Paris and London, but the only other guy who will be there outside our sevens contracted squad is Warrick Gelant.”

Stormers captain De Jongh and his teammate Kolbe will play for the Stormers in Super Rugby until the June Test break, where after they will probably join the Blitzboks for a pre-Olympic training camp if they don't make the 15-man Springbok squad. - African News Agency (ANA)

Original source: Habana’s Olympic prospects looking bleak