Springbok Sevens forward Tim Agaba has been ruled out of the opening two tournaments of the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, to be played in Dubai and Cape Town respectively.
Agaba sustained an ankle injury at the Safland Sevens in Namibia last weekend. Subsequent scans revealed rehabilitation was needed for the player, who has featured in seven tournaments for the Blitzboks since making his debut in Sydney earlier this year.
Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, confirmed that Agaba will not be considered for the upcoming two tournaments.
“It is a pity indeed, as Tim has played in every tournament since his debut in the Sydney Sevens in February,” said Powell.
“He was really becoming a core member of our team and he will be missed. Luckily, the injury is not of such a nature that he will be out of action for too long and we are keen to see him train with us again in a couple of weeks.”
The coach said Kwagga Smith has a quad strain and will not fully train with the team this week.Smith was due to play for the SA Rugby Academy Sevens team in a local tournament in Goodwood this past weekend, but was withdrawn from the squad. Another regular Blitzbok, Stephan Dippenaar, also remained on the bench at that tournament due to a stiff back.
Seabelo Senatla did come through the tournament unscathed though and showed no signs of the wrist injury that he picked up at the Olympic Games in Rio earlier this year.
The SA Rugby Academy Sevens team played well in the WPRFU Score Club Sevens Dream Team tournament and Academy Manager, Marius Schoeman, said afterwards that his troops responded well in matches played against a number of teams, including Western Province Sevens A and B.
“We blooded a number of youngsters and I am pretty pleased with the way they came through the matches. It was a first opportunity for them to respond in match situations and they did well,” said Schoeman.
There were some misfortunes for Schoeman as well. “We did lose the experienced Hoffman Maritz and Sandile Ngcobo due to injury and both are doubtful to travel to Dubai, where we will play in the International Invitational tournament, but overall I am pretty pleased with the depth that was on display.”
The Springbok Sevens and the SA Rugby Academy teams to travel to Dubai will be named on Friday.