Two UCT players – have been named in the 12-man Emerging Springboks Sevens squad to compete in a tournament in Kenya this week.
SARU on Friday announced the squad that will take part in the 14th edition of the Tusker Sevens Safari in Nairobi from June 18-22 and UCT stars Dane Galley and Marvin Christians and UJ fullback Earl Lewis – all of whom played in the 2009 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International – have been included, along with a host of talented players from around the country.
Both Christians (wing) and Lewis were part of the SA Vipers squad that played in the Tangiers Sevens in May, whilst 24-year-old Ikeys loose forward Galley – a SACS Old Boy – has some Sevens experience, having had a trial with Paul Treu’s SA squad in the past.
Since the tournament’s inception in 1996, the Safari Sevens event has grown to carve itself as one of Africa’s Premier Sevens competitions.
Springbok Sevens stars, who have been instrumental in South Africa claiming their first overall IRB World Sevens Series title, such as Mzwandile Stick, Renfred Dazel and Vuyo Zangqa – have also participated in previous Safari Sevens tournaments.
“Our plans with the Emerging Sevens squad is to ensure that they continue proud record of our senior side that recently won the World Championships,” explained Arthur Janson, the coach of the SA Emerging squad.
“We are creating uniformity within our structures in South African Sevens rugby and I believe there will be players from this squad that will one day represent our national Sevens side,” he added.
“We are using tournaments like this to groom and expose our players and expose them to some international rugby. Hopefully there will be of our players representing Paul Treu’s Boks Sevens next season.”
The Safari Sevens has been graced by various rugby icons such as Fiji legend Waisale Serevi – who was a guest player during the 2006 tournament – and former Welsh captain Colin Charvis, who toured with the Public Schools Wanderers in 1996.
Invitational sides from England, Japan, France and Samoa are some of the competing teams that will participate in the Nairobi competition.
Emerging Springboks Sevens squad:
Boland: Deon Scholtz
Border: Lwazi Samora Fihlani, Lubabalo Mzwakali
Eastern Province: Marlon Lewis
Free State: Ashley Johnson, Jacobus Jonker
Golden Lions: Earl Lewis (UJ)
Leopards: Wilhelm Koch
Western Province: Ashwill Peters, Marvin Christians (UCT), Dane Galley (UCT), Jacobus Schabort