SA Sevens coach starts rebuilding process

Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has an even more daunting task than usual for the upcoming 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series, with only eight contracted players available and the title to defend.


Treu used only 17 players in the last IRB Sevens World Series en route to the title. “We start our testing and training next Monday,” Treu said from Dubai on Wednesday.


“We’ll be inviting identified players from then on as an ongoing exercise to see who is up to the challenge.

 

“I’m not announcing a squad at this stage,” he said and added the sifting process for talent would go on through a number of Sevens tournaments over the next two months.

“We’ll be playing with two teams in the Windhoek tournament at the end of the month, and then we’ll again be at the Middelburg tournament towards the end of October, and in Singapore in the first weekend of November.


“This will give us ample opportunity to test the players properly.”


The Arabian Gulf, hosts of the first IRB Sevens tournament in the 2009/10 series in Dubai on December 4 and 5, will again do their preparations for the tournament in South Africa which will provide the Boks with some valuable training opposition.


Treu has about nine vacancies from last year to fill, including that of Vuyo Zangqa who was seriously injured in a car accident, Marius Schoeman who has retired, and the three Free State players Robert Ebersohn, Phillip Snyman and Lions Mapoe.


He aims to contract 20 players for the series. Senior players who would be available again are Mzwandile Stick, Frankie Horn, Renfred Dazel and Mpho Mbiyozo.


Newly contracted player Cecil Africa, is an exciting signing after having spent some time in the Emerging Boks side, and there must be a great chance that Treu will persuade MJ Mentz, now with the Pumas, to come back to Sevens.


“I’ve already had discussions with the Blue Bulls, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and Western Province about their young talent and have attended the Under-18 internationals over the past few weeks.


“There is some exciting talent in this category, but some of the under-18s are still in Grade 11 and cannot therefore be considered for higher honours right now.


“A few of the under-18s will nevertheless be invited to the training camp for testing and with a view of getting them prepared for the challenge over the next few years that will peak in 2016 at the Olympic Games.”

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