The final squads have been
declared by all 16 teams set to compete in the third round of the HSBC
Sevens World Series, the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, with South
Africa, Kenya and England all recalling star names and Series leaders New
Zealand making a late change.
Meanwhile the USA has made a relatively small, but nonetheless significant change. Luke Hume, held out from Dubai as he was just coming off the USA 15s team tour and had missed camp, will come in for Mike Te'o. The change, said USA Head Coach Alex Magleby, was not prmpted by injury.
"We don't need to carry four halfbacks if they are performing, and anyway Luke can play halfback. But what we need is to balance the combinations of skills. We have Nick Edwards, who can break through tackles but but doesn't usually score from 80 meters."
Carlin Isles has long-range strike ability, but how many runs does he have in him in a game? Maka Unufe is another finisher, and capable on the restarts, but he needs help finding space.
"Luke helps us get that combo right," added Magleby. "Maka's line breaks were down because we didn't have that extra threat. And Luke being in the team helps us get the balance right."
Hume brings an excellent sidestepping ability to the 7s team, and his abilty to make people miss creates opportunities. However, his teammates need to see those opportunities created and provide support.
In other team news, South Africa Sevens
playmaker Cecil Afrika has passed a fitness test and will take his place in
Paul Treu's squad in his home town, Port Elizabeth.
Afrika's fitness is a massive boost for Treu, who is already without the
services of captain, Kyle Brown, who suffered a broken leg in Dubai.
Afrika is one of two former IRB Sevens Players of the Year recalled for
the tournament in PE with England's
Ollie Phillips also proving his fitness. Teammate Dan Norton lines up in
South Africa four tries short of 100 in his World Series career.
Series leaders New
Zealand have been forced into a late change with new cap,
18-year-old Waikato player Luke Masirewa, flying in to replace Sherwin Stowers,
who failed to recover from a hamstring injury picked up during last weekend's
have called up former captain Humphrey Kayange as one of four replacements from
Dubai as coach Mike Friday prepares to make do without two key flyers, Collins
Injera and Oscar Ouma, as well as Sidney Ashioya and Biko Adema.
Dubai champions Samoa
will have to make do without their most potent attacking weapon last week, Paul
Perez, who is ruled out with the injury he suffered in that final, in
which he scored two first half tries.
Dubai Cup semi finalists France
have been forced to replace the injured Julien Candelon with Douillard
hand a debut to Russell Weir and have wing James Fleming one try short of his
50th on the World Series.
Regional African qualifiers Zimbabwe
hand debuts to Tipiwa Tsomondo and Garth Ziegler in an otherwise experienced
Extra Notes: USA captain Shalom Suniula will extend his record for most IRB World Series for a USA player when he steps on for his 34th event Saturday. Zack Test, already the top all-time USA try-scorer, is one away from 60 for his career. Matt Hawkins is two away from moving into second all-time.