Bok wing makes comeback with BlitzBoks
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Travis Ismaiel will complete a national team trifecta at the LA Sevens next weekend after being named in the BlitzBoks Sevens squad that will contest the North American leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in the USA and Canada later this month.
Ismaiel, who played for the Junior Springboks and Springboks earlier in his career, is set to make his Blitzbok debut in Los Angeles to complete a rare hat-trick of national team selections.
His inclusion is one of three changes to the side that played in the final of the Sydney Sevens late last month.
Springbok Sevens coach Sandile Ngcobo also included Ronald Brown and Mfundo Ndhlovu in this squad as the Blitzboks look to consolidate their top-four spot in the World Series.
The trio come in for Darren Adonis and Dalvon Blood, who picked up season-ending injuries in Sydney, as Shaun Williams, who sustained a knee injury at training this week.
Ngcobo welcomed the inclusion of Ismaiel for the first time.
“Travis worked very hard to come back from what seemed to be a career-ending shoulder injury and all of the rugby fraternity should be very pleased about this good news story,” said Ngcobo.
“I expect him to make a real impact in Los Angeles and credit to our High-Performance Manager, Marius Schoeman, who made a brave decision to bring Travis into our set-up when he had nowhere else to go.”
The return of Brown and Ndhlovu comes at a very appropriate time: “Ronald and Mfundo bounced back well after their disappointments in Hong Kong and they return at the right time, as we lost Selvyn Davids and Darren Adonis on the last trip, and Shaun during the week.
“Both are World Series winners, and we will need their game breaking abilities in Los Angeles in what will be very competitive tournament once again.”
There was concern over Blitzbok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi, who suffered a shoulder injury in Sydney, but he came through the final training session unscathed and will again lead the team. South Africa will face Ireland, Uruguay and Canada in Pool B.
South Africa Sevens squad: Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, James Murphy, Christie Grobbelaar, Masande Mtshali, Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain), Travis Ismaiel, Jaiden Baron, Ricardo Duarttee, Ronald Brown, Shilton van Wyk, Mfundo Ndhlovu