Blitzboks captain Siviwe Soyizwapi will lead a side dominated by experienced players, when the SA Sevens team heads to Munich later in the month.
Neil Powell’s men are one of the rugby teams that will be on show at Oktoberfest, which begins on Saturday, 21 September, ending on 6 October.
Tried and tested Blitzboks squad for German voyage
Out of the 12 men that will be representing the green and gold at the festival, only two were not regular members of the squad that did duty in the 2018/19 World Rugby Sevens Series.
“We have guys coming back from injury, we have some experienced campaigners and we have some young guys keen to make their mark and could be stars in the future,” said Powell.
“Some of the players who were involved with their provinces in the recent Currie Cup and age-group competitions were not yet considered, while the likes of Cecil Afrika and Justin Geduld are still in rehabilitation from injuries sustained last season.
Big opportunity for inexperienced duo
James Murphy, who got a taste of the big stage in Hong Kong in 2018, is one of the less experienced players, alongside Sharks winger Mfundo Ndhlovu, who was part of the team that secured the World Series title in Paris.
Powell says the trip is a good opportunity for the duo to claim spots ahead of the new season in the absence of a few regulars.
“Players like Mfundo and James have not played much for us during the previous season, so this is a nice early opportunity for them to stake a claim for the new season. They are coming back from injury and will be eager to get involved.
“I am very happy with the squad though and keen to see how we go in Munich.”
Chance to experiment
The Blitzboks had a disappointing run in the World Series last time out, as they failed to defend their 2017/18 title.
According to Powell, the German outing presents a chance for a few experiments in preparation for the upcoming season.
“There are a couple of tweaks we are implementing and I want to see how they work out for us.
“We are still in a conditioning phase, so we know we will not be as sharp as we can be, but that is not the end of the world. We are building towards the start of the season, so if there are mistakes, it will be a good pointer for us.”
The Blitzboks depart for Munich on Wednesday, 18 September, three days before they are due to take to the field.
They play New Zealand, England and Australia.
Blitzboks Oktoberfest squad
Siviwe Soyizwapi (c), Chris Dry, Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, James Murphy, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Dewald Human, Stedman Gans.