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South Africa welcome back Afrika for Tokyo Sevens

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irbsevens.com and James Mortimer     27 Mar 2013     Getty Images

The former IRB Sevens Player of the Year will replace Paul Delport, who suffered a knee injury at the fifth round in Hong Kong.

Afrika has not been in action since last year when he aggravated a knee injury at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens in Port Elizabeth. His availability is good news for South Africa, who suffered a disappointing Bowl semi final exit in Hong Kong.

“We are obviously gutted to lose another player because of injury, but that is part of the game,” said head coach Paul Treu.

“Cecil will bring a lot of confidence with him to the team. He is confident and looking forward to playing again, but we want to phase him with a view to have him fully ready for the Sevens Rugby World.”

“Cecil’s alertness and attacking style creates a lot of uncertainty for defenders and hopefully that will create some extra opportunities for us."

For Tokyo, South Africa are in the same pool as Hong Kong champions Fiji, Portugal and Spain.

After six of the nine rounds in the 2012/13 World Series, defending champions New Zealand lead with 113 points from Fiji in second place (88). Samoa moved up to third (84), South Africa are now fourth (78) while Kenya climbed to fifth (72) in the standings.