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BlitzBoks coach sacked

NEWS: The Springbok Sevens coaching team has been reformatted and a review of the Sevens department’s structure is being undertaken as a response to disappointing results, SA Rugby announced on Wednesday.

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Head coach Sandile Ngcobo has returned to the role of coach to the next generation of sevens players, while Philip Snyman (assistant coach) has taken over as head coach of the BlitzBoks until the end of July. The changes were made at the suggestion of Ngcobo. The players were advised on Wednesday.

The BlitzBoks, who had finished in the top two in 12 of the previous 16 HSBC SVNS seasons, are currently seventh on the standings after finishing ninth and 11th in the last two events in Vancouver and Los Angeles, respectively.

If the team fails to finish in the top eight of the standings, it will be required to play in a promotion and relegation series.

Ngcobo was promoted from Sevens Academy coach to take over from Neil Powell in September 2022, with Snyman, a former BlitzBok captain, appointed as assistant coach.

Snyman will now hold the head coach role until the end of July and the completion of the Olympic Games in Paris – for which the team has yet to qualify.

“We have a talented and experienced group of Sevens players, but they have underperformed since winning the opening event of the world series in Dubai and results have only worsened,” said Rian Oberholzer, CEO of SA Rugby.

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“We have yet to qualify for the Olympics and there is a danger that the team will not automatically retain its core status on the series. We greatly appreciate the honesty of Sandile’s approach and must praise him for placing the team’s needs above his personal ambitions.

“We will continue to invest in his development and believe he has a future in our systems. However, the short-term needs of the team are such that for continuity purposes we have given Philip the task of reviving the team’s fortunes.

“A review of the broader Sevens department’s structure will continue to ensure that it is fit for purpose. The Blitzboks have been a shining light for rugby for many seasons and we wish to see them on fire once again.”

The team is next in action at the Hong Kong Sevens on 5-7 April.

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