Home Sport Blitzboks new skipper ‘hugely honoured’ to lead team in Dubai

Blitzboks new skipper ‘hugely honoured’ to lead team in Dubai

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Star playmaker Selvyn Davids is taking over the leadership from Siviwe Soyizwapi, who will miss most of the season with a knee injury.

Selvyn Davids will captain the SA Sevens team at the Dubai Sevens. Picture: Andrew Cornaga, www.photosport.nz, BackpagePix

Davids ‘hugely honoured’ to lead Blitzboks in Dubai

New Springbok Sevens captain Selvyn Davids says the team “are a big part of my life”, but the man himself is sure to make a big impact himself at next weekend’s Dubai Sevens tournament.

Star playmaker Davids is taking over the leadership from Siviwe Soyizwapi, who will miss most of the season with a knee injury.

Davids will also have a different coach in charge in the United Arab Emirates, with usual assistant Philip Snyman calling the shots.

Head coach Sandile Ngcobo won’t accompany the team as he is still recovering from surgery on an Achilles injury he sustained in training last week.

“Siviwe will only return to the circuit in the latter part of the series next year,” Ngcobo said.

“We want his focus to be on getting back into his own game, and not worry about the captaincy and the pressure that comes with that.

“Selvyn did lead the team in matches last season when Siviwe was not playing, so the coaching staff and management have full trust in his abilities.

“We are lucky to have a strong leadership group around. Justin (Geduld) has over 50 tournaments of experience, Ryan (Oosthuizen) and Zain (Davids) over 40 and Impi (Visser) is in the 30s, so we will have a strong core. The experience of Rosko (Specman) in this regard will also be very valuable to us,” Ngcobo said.

Selvyn Davids added: “I was hugely honoured when the coach asked me to lead the side.

“The Blitzboks are a big part of my life, and with Siviwe out for such a long time, I am more than happy and honoured to lead the side.

“The leadership group confirmed their backing already, so the next job will be to get ourselves ready to perform against Samoa in that opener in Dubai.”

It is a strong squad that will compete in Dubai, where the Blitzboks will hope to continue their remarkable success, despite a disappointing World Sevens Series season last term.

The South Africans have won the event 10 times over the years, including the last four in a row, and will hope to make it a fifth successive title ahead of the Cape Town Sevens on December 9-10.

Apart from stalwarts such as Ryan Oosthuizen, Zain Davids, Justin Geduld and Rosko Specman, there is some fresh blood in the shape of Junior Springboks Katlego Letebele and Quewin Nortjé.

“They have so much potential and showed a massive learning curve since joining us,” Ngcobo said.

“Each brings a good skill-set, and I firmly believe they will contribute from the start.

“They also add nice balance to the team with their capabilities.

“By selecting these younger players, we are creating a step into building the next generation.

“The coaches share the view of our high-performance manager, Marius Schoeman, that this is the best way for the system going forward.

“It is great to have that open-mindedness for our needs as coaches.”

Blitzboks Squad For Dubai

Christie Grobbelaar, Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Katlego Letebele, Masande Mtshali, Ronald Brown, Selvyn Davids (captain), Dewald Human, Justin Geduld, Shilton van Wyk, Rosko Specman, Quewin Nortjé.

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