South Africa's Springbok Sevens, who won three of the nine rounds on the last HSBC Sevens World Series, are set to join seven other national teams when they travel to Cali, Colombia this week to participate in the 2013 World Games.
It is the first time that the World Games, which features over 4,000 athletes from 120 countries, have been staged in South America and the last featuring Rugby Sevens, now that the sport has joined the Olympic family ahead of the Rio Games in 2016.
The World Games begin on 25 July and end on 4 August with the Rugby Sevens to be played on 1-2 August in the Pascual Guerrero Stadium.
The eight nations set to compete are World Series core teams Argentina, Canada, France and South Africa as well as Asian champions Hong Kong, Olympic hosts Brazil, tournament hosts Colombia and the Teros of Uruguay.
“There will be no dropping of our standards, there’s a job to be done and we want to bring back gold for South Africa," said former Bok playmaker Vuyo Zangqa, who steps up from assistant coach to head coach for the tournament.
"We all know that this is an important step in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games next year and then the 2016 Olympics.”
Four years ago in Taiwan South Africa claimed the bronze medal. This year they name a strong side featuring the likes of Cornal Hendricks, Seabelo Senatla and Stephan Dippenaar and captained by Kyle Brown, who returned from injury for the recent World Cup in Moscow.
South Africa squad: Jamba Ulengo, Bernado Botha, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Reuben Johannes, Willem Strydom, Stephan Dippenaar, Mark Richards, Seabelo Senatla, Steven Hunt, Ruwellyn Isbell, Cornal Hendricks.
Player Quotes of Support
“More than anything, Sevens embodies the Olympic ideals of camaraderie, fair play and respect on and off the field of play.” – Shane Williams, Wales
“You play sport at the highest level to challenge yourself to be the best that you can possibly be and to compete with the best from all over the world, and what better stage to do that on than at the Olympics?” – Sue Day, England
“Going to the Commonwealth Games was amazing and to have the chance to go to the Olympics would be right up there with anything you could possibly dream of doing in sport.” – Tamati Ellison, New Zealand
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