Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell will get his final chance to assess his charges in a competitive environment before the Rio Olympic Games in the Assupol 7s International tournament in Stellenbosch on July 1-2.
The tournament, which will be held at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch, features two tiers with six teams in the international section and then 16 local club teams competing for a trophy of their own.
Kenya, Zimbabwe, a Namibian invitational team, a Western Province invitational team and the SA Academy Sevens team have all been invited to compete with Powell’s men as they gear up for Rio.
Kenya will also be heading to the Olympic Games after a successful HSBC World Sevens Series campaign which saw them finish seventh and pick up a historic first Cup title in Singapore.Powell was pleased to have the tournament in Stellenbosch.
“This fits in nicely with our preparations for Rio. We need some quality opponents in match conditions as part of our prep, so it will be ideal for us.
“The fact that it is held here in Stellenbosch also means that we don’t have to travel anywhere, which suits us perfectly. We want to thank all involved with this, as this will no doubt help us in our final push towards the Olympic Games.”
Tournament Promotor Willem Strauss said that it is heartening to see such great support for the Springbok Sevens team.
“I would like to thank Assupol and WPRFU for their support of the tournament. The Blitzboks are major medal contenders at the upcoming Olympics and hopefully this tournament can contribute to their potential success in Rio,” he said.
Western Province Rugby Football Union President Mr Thelo Wakefield commended the initiative of staging a tournament which will showcase both top international and club rugby talent.
“There is so much talent out there, and tournaments like this which serve to develop Sevens rugby at both club and international level are vital,” he said.
Commenting on the sponsorship deal, Mr Gert Wessels, Sales Executive of Assupol said: “We are very proud to be associated with both Western Province Rugby Football Union and the South African Rugby Union in this tournament, leading up to the Olympics next month.
“Assupol has long recognised the vital role that business has to play in developing and supporting South Africa’s sports people. We are looking forward to watching an exciting 7s rugby tournament in Stellenbosch and wish the teams all the best for a successful campaign,” he added.