Two competitive SA Students Sevens teams have been named for the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championships in Swakopmund this weekend, with three capped Blitzboks included in the men’s team for the event in Namibia.
The three Springbok Sevens players who have HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series experience are Rhyno Smith, who will captain the side, James Murphy and WJ Strydom.
Both Smith, who also has Vodacom Super Rugby experience, and Murphy played in the 2017/18 World Series, won by the Blitzboks, while Strydom was a contracted Springbok Sevens player before focussing on his studies full-time.
The experienced Pieter van den Berg of North-West University will coach the SA Students Sevens Men’s squad. The team also boast a number of players who have represented the SA Rugby Sevens Academy team in tournaments abroad – Impi Visser, Lungelo Gosa and Diederick Oberholzer.
The South Africans have been drawn in Pool C with Australia, China and Botswana. Pool A consists of hosts Namibia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Colombia, while in Pool B are France, Argentina, Uganda and Zambia.
The SA Students Sevens Women’s team will be coached by Mvuyisi Sigala from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, with UKZN player, Nontutuko Shongwe named as captain. The Women’s Sevens team will face France, Brazil and Belgium in Pool B of the competition. Pool A consists of Namibia, Canada, Australia and India.
Both teams depart for Namibia on Tuesday.
The SA Students Sevens Men’s team:
1. Hein Kritzinger (North-West University)
2. Gideon van der Merwe (North-West University)
3. Verno Treu (University of Western Cape)
4. Impi Visser (University of Stellenbosch)
5. Lungelo Gosa (North-West University)
6. James Murphy (University of Stellenbosch)
7. Rhyno Smith (captain – North-West University)
8. Eugene Hare (North-West University)
9. Diederick Oberholzer (North-West University)
10. WJ Strydom (University of Pretoria)
11. Ronald Brown (University of Johannesburg)
12. Duncan Saal (University of Stellenbosch)
Management – Coach: Pieter van den Berg (University of North West); Team manager / Assistant coach: Clement Trout (University of Western Cape); Physiotherapist: JW Durr (University of Stellenbosch).
The SA Students Sevens Women’s team:
1. Nontutuko Shongwe (captain – University of KwaZulu-Natal)
2. Sivuyisiwe Cezula (University of Fort Hare)
3. Vhungala Ndou (University of Johannesburg)
4. Leandi Smith (University of Western Cape)
5. Emely Tembe (Central University of Technology)
6. Sanelisiwe Mkhize (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
7. Lindelwa Gwala (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
8. Patricia Khumalo (University of Fort Hare)
9. Lusanda Dumke (University of University of Fort Hare)
10. Kirsten Eastes (University of Pretoria)
11. Sesihle Maguga (University of Pretoria)
12. Kemisetso Baloyi (University of Pretoria)
Management – Coach: Mvuyisi Sigala (University of KwaZulu-Natal); Team manager: Melissa Awu (Nelson Mandela University), Fitness and conditioning coach: Sizophila Solontsi (University of KwaZulu-Natal).