All Blacks Sevens and Blitzbokke headline changes for London
irbsevens.com and James Mortimer 07 May 2013 Getty Images
The duo will replace Seabelo Senatla and Justin Geduld, who join the Junior Springboks squad in Stellenbosch to prepare for the IRB Junior World Championship in France later this month.
Afrika has been declared fit following a knee strain and comes in for Senatla, whilst winger Kok, who was part of the DHL Western Province team that won the Absa Under 19 Provincial Championship in 2012, will replace his outside centre in that team, Geduld.
Both Senatla and Geduld were in fine form as South Africa beat New Zealand to clinch round 8 of the Series in Glasgow, so the dual loss is a blow for coach Paul Treu, who is also sweating on the fitness of Paul Delport, who injured his knee in that 28-21 final victory .
“We are obviously very happy to have Cecil back,” said Treu. “He is a great player and motivates the rest of the team when he is fit and playing. With him fully recovered following his knee strain, it will also be important for us to manage him well with an eye on the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow next month.
“He needs to get some game time under his belt and will also be important to provide guidance to the younger guys in the squad, like Werner and WJ Strydom.”
Strydom made his BlitzBok debut in Glasgow and now Kok, another product of the SARU Sevens Elite Player Development squad, will join him.
“Werner is a very hard worker, is quick and fast and will be able to cover at centre and hooker, so I am very happy to welcome him in the squad,” Treu said of the Nelspruit born and raised former Pumas Craven Week player.
Lam and Curry ruled out for All Black Sevens
New Zealanders Ben Lam and Scott Curry have been ruled out of the season finale in London after suffering injuries on day one at the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens.
Curry broke a bone in his hand, while powerful wing Lam has a broken foot, forcing coach Gordon Tietjens to send for Matt Faddes, who played in Hong Kong and Tokyo, and Warwick Lahmert, who last played at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas.
At the Twickenham tournament South Africa head Pool A and will play USA, Australia and France in the main 12-team competition. New Zealand line up in Pool B with Wales, Canada and Kenya, while hosts England are the top seed in Pool C but face tough matches against Fiji, Samoa and Argentina.
Scotland, Portugal and Spain will be battling to win back their core team status in an eight-team qualifier to be played alongside that main competition. Russia, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia will all be aiming to deny them and secure prized core team status for 2013/14.