Engelbrecht joins the Sevens party
Former FNB UCT star Pieter Engelbrecht – who now plays his provincial rugby for the Lions – has been named in the South African Sevens squad for the opening two rounds of the 2010/11 IRB Sevens World Series – in Dubai and George.
It will be Engelbrecht’s first taste of Sevens action at this level, having impressed with his pace and power for UCT in the 2008 and 2009 Varsity Cup tournaments.
Since last year’s VC, Engelbrecht has found himself in the Lions’ colours – he was signed by ex-Bok boss Jake White – although he did not get a lot of game time in the 2010 Currie Cup.
Engelbrecht, of course, will be joined in the South African squad by former Ikeys teammate Kyle Brown – the captain of the Men in Green & Gold.
Other former Varsity Cup players in the mix are Shimlas ace Boom Prinsloo – the Forward of the Tournament in 2010 – and UJ speedster Bernardo Botha.
In all, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has retained seven players from the squad which won the bronze medal in Delhi, but the return of experienced players like Kyle Brown, Frankie Horne and Branco du Preez – along with some new faces – will put the SA team in good stead.
“I think we have a good balance and the two competitive tournaments in Delhi and Singapore gave the youngsters a decent taste of what they can expect over the next eight months in the Sevens World Series,” said Treu on sarugby.co.za.
“We have put the disappointment of last season behind us and are looking forward to the season. Last season, Samoa and Australia showed how far and fast the game have progressed and we need to step up and hit the same level of competitiveness as them.”
The Bok squad leaves for Dubai on Friday at 6pm from the Cape Town International Airport. The Dubai Sevens takes place next weekend (December 3-4), with the George Sevens on December 10-11.
The Springbok Sevens squad (for Dubai and George): Lubabalo Mtembu, Boom Prinsloo, Frankie Horne, Pieter Engelbrecht, Sibusiso Sithole, Kyle Brown (captain), Renfred Dazel, Bernardo Botha, Mark Richards, Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, MJ Mentz.
Management: Paul Treu (coach), Vuyo Zangqa (assistant coach), Hugh Everson (physiotherapist), Alan Temple-Jones (biokineticist), Sebastian Prim (team manager).