Cape Town – Proper time to prepare for the last two legs of World Rugby Sevens Series could prove vital for the final push of the Springbok Sevens team towards winning the overall 2016/17 series, says Blitzboks coach, Neil Powell.
The fact that he could start preparations back in Stellenbosch with all available players fit and ready helped in getting the squad ready for the Paris Sevens that kicks off in Stade Jean Bouin on Saturday.
“This was one of the first preparation camps where we had all 13 players fit and able to train. I had individual chats with all the guys and they really are full of motivation and keen to get going,” Powell said.
“These are the last two tournaments of a long series, so it’s always a challenge to get the guys up for it. But the energy levels are definitely up and I am confident that the guys will put in the effort.”
The coach, who is looking to become the first person to win the World Rugby Sevens Series as both player and coach, has no illusions though on how tough the opening day will be in the French capital.
South Africa plays Scotland, Japan and Canada in Pool A of the tournament.
“Scotland are always a tricky game to play first. They play a good brand of rugby, mixing up attack and keeping the ball alive very well. Japan can challenge any team on the day if they pitch up and the last one of the day against Canada will be a very physical affair. Canada will play nice and direct and we need to be up to it if we want to get into the Cup quarterfinals,” the coach warned.
South Africa vs Scotland, 11:28
South Africa vs Japan, 14:54
South Africa vs Canada, 18:42