Rugby 24.5.2018 04:56 pm

Blitzboks welcome back Senatla with open arms

Seabelo Senatla. Photo: Gallo Images.

Seabelo Senatla. Photo: Gallo Images.

Struggling for form at the Stormers, the winger is released back to the sevens circuit to help defend South Africa’s World Series title.

Regular captain, Philip Snyman, and leading try-scorer, Seabelo Senatla, have been recalled to the Springbok Sevens squad by Neil Powell for the London Sevens next weekend.

The inclusion of Snyman and Senatla are amongst five changes to the team that finished fourth in Singapore last month. Also returning are stalwarts Branco du Preez, Justin Geduld and Ruhan Nel, who also missed the last trip east.

Selvyn Davids, Kyle Brown and Rosko Specman, who picked up injuries in Singapore, will not travel to the UK, while Muller du Plessis has joined up with the Junior Springboks.

The Blitzboks are currently four points behind Fiji on the overall 2017/18 World Rugby Sevens Series log and need strong performances at Twickenham and in Paris a week later to retain their overall title.

“It is great to have Seabelo back in the team,” said Powell.

“He is not regarded as one of the deadliest finishers on the circuit for nothing, so it is great to have him available. We want to thank the Stormers management for making him available to us.”

Senatla last played in Hamilton, New Zealand in the fourth tournament of the series before taking up Super Rugby duties with the Stormers.

He scored 30 tries so far this season, which is still the leading mark for the Blitzboks in 2017/18.

Senatla (1095) is one of a trio of players who have scored more than a 1000 points in Blitzboks colours, the others being Cecil Afrika (1425) and Branco du Preez (1154).

Powell was also pleased to call on the services of Snyman, Geduld, Du Preez and Nel: “We managed the workload of some players as the last two tournaments will be crucial for us in retaining our World Series crown.

“To have experienced players like them coming back at this stage of the series is invaluable, especially as they will be fresh and eager to deliver their best performances.”

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