Stephan Dippenaar was ruled out of next weekend’s Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament in Port Elizabeth with a hamstring injury and his replacement will be named on Tuesday, the Springbok Sevens have confirmed.
Dippenaar was one of three South African players injured in Dubai while taking part in Round 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series. South Africa lost only one match during the two-day event, on Saturday in the final against Fiji.
Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo (foot injury) were ruled out of action on Saturday while Horne sustained a leg injury in their 26-12 semi-final victory over England.
On Sunday, Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, said a replacement for Dippenaar will join the squad on Tuesday in PE. “We have players in mind but will announce that on Tuesday morning. Stephan and Jamba flew back to Cape Town already (on Sunday) where they will both see specialists.”
Powell indicated there is a possibility that Ulengo might still be able to play in PE. “We believe Jamba has a 50/50 chance to play, but we will not take any chances. Jamba took a knock on his leg and we will see how he reacts to treatment before making any decision,” added the SA Sevens coach.
Powell, in his first season as head coach of the Springbok Sevens since taking over from long-serving Paul Treu, led the team to his first Cup final in only his second World Series tournament since taking charge. South Africa lost 29-17 against Fiji who captured their first Dubai title.
Fiji jumped to second place on the log and they now have 35 points, just four behind World Series leaders New Zealand (39), with South Africa (34) and England (32) within striking distance heading to Port Elizabeth this weekend.
South Africa and the 15 other international teams arrive on Monday evening in Port Elizabeth.
Meanwhile the tournament hosts were drawn in Pool B alongside Kenya, Canada and Spain for next weekend’s tournament.
The South African team have played in every tournament since the inaugural Dubai series on 2 December 1999 – which they lost in the final to New Zealand 69-10.
Since that debut tournament and to date South Africa have:
- Played 671 games in 121 tournaments
- Won 484 games
- Lost 177 games
- Drawn 10 games
- Score 16024 points
- Conceded 7770 points
- Their best streak was 16 wins from 1 June 2008 to 6 February 2009
- Their worst run was 3 losses from 11 to 12 May 2013
- Thier highest score and world record winning margin was 84-0 againsta Malaysia on 1 April 2000 in Tokyo
- Their heaviest defeat remains the 69-0 loss to New Zealand at the inaugural Dubai tournament in 1999.
The Port Elizabeth leg of the HSBC Sevens tournament takes place this weekend, 7 8 December 2013 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
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