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BlitzBoks recall experienced duo for last chance Olympic qualifier

The South Africa Sevens side will welcome back the experienced duo of Zain Davids and Shilton van Wyk for their final Olympic qualifier tournament in Monaco.

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This comes after failing to qualify for the Olympic games in the Africa Sevens tournament in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The BlitzBoks had a season to forget as they slumped as low as seventh place in the HSBC SVNS World Series standings.

After winning the opening tournament in Dubai for the fifth time in a row, the BlitzBoks went on a fast decline which ultimately led to head coach Sandile Ngcobo being replaced by interim coach Philip Snyman as fears loomed at the time that they would not automatically qualify for the HSBC World SVNS series next season.

The BlitzBoks are in a pool with Mexico, Tonga and Chile to contest for the final Olympics spot that will take place in Paris.

The duo was rested and missed out on the squad’s previous European trip to Madrid in the final leg of the Sevens series with coach Philip Snyman believing it was a worthwhile exercise.

“Both Zain and Shilton played in all the tournaments for us and we felt it would be better for them to miss the Madrid one and to freshen up for Monaco, as they will be needed in what is a very important tournament for us,” Snyman explained.

No reserve player for Monaco 

The squad will travel with only 12 players and not the usual 13 that do duty on the SVNS series and this impacted selection according to Snyman.

“We needed a little bit of versatility in the squad, as you have one player less and for us, Siviwe Soyizwapi, will fill that role and will play on the wing and in the forwards. We are also lucky to have Selvyn Davids and Rosko Specman who can play in several positions.”

The squad will travel on Sunday with a clear mind on the task ahead said Snyman

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“The goal is straightforward, and that is to win in Monaco and gain entry to the Paris Olympics. The whole squad is in agreement that we were our own worst enemies during the SVNS series and only we can fix that.”

Going in well-prepared and full of confidence to get the job done.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves and no one is thinking Paris yet. We need to lay a foundation against Mexico and follow it up on Day Two and get the best possible draw for the playoffs on Day Three,” said Snyman.

The Pools in Monaco:

Pool A: South Africa, Chile, Tonga, Mexico

Pool B: Great Britain, Canada, Uganda, China

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Pool C: Spain, Hong Kong China, Papua New Guinea, Brazil

BlitzBoks schedule:

Friday, June 21
(SA time, GMT+2)

17.32: Mexico

Saturday, June 22
(SA time, GMT+2)

14.32: Tonga

19.32: Chile

BlitzBoks squad: Christie Grobbelaar, Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Quewin Nortje, Tiaan Pretorius, Shaun Williams, Selvyn Davids (captain), Tristan Leyds, Rosko Specman, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shilton van Wyk

*Additional reporting: SA Rugby

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