The Vodacom Blue Bulls team to travel to the Beachcomber World Club 10s in Mauritius on Tuesday to compete for the third staging of the popular tournament at the Anjalay Stadium in Mauritius on June 17 and 18 has been named and will include fit-again Dries Swanepoel and Roelof Smit, as well as RG Snyman, who has served his suspension he received in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
This will be a first appearance this year for Smit, who has recovered from the pectoral muscle injury he sustained while travelling with the Springboks in Europe last year in November, while Swanepoel returned to action last week with the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
The team will be coached by Nollis Marais, who sees the trip as a great honing exercise with the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament kicking off again in three weeks time.
“It is an important step towards getting some momentum and rhythm back after the compulsory break of Super Rugby, but it is also a very important phase to start preparing for the Currie Cup competition that starts in July,” the coach explained.
“This is an ideal fitness exercise as well as a number of guys have not played for a while and that are not involved with the Springboks and SA A sides. And with the Vodacom Blue Bulls team having a bye in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, we could also rope some of them in, Marais commented.
“Like any tournament or match we play in, we will be out to win this and give our supporters something to be proud of,” Marais said.
“Tours like these are as always good for team cohesion as well.”
Former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is in charge of running the tournament while legendary lock Victor Matfield, will assist in coaching the Africa Pacific Dragons.
Meyer, who enjoyed a long and successful professional relationship with Matfield at both the Bulls and Springboks, will also be on hand to give input to the composite Dragons team. Matfield and former Bok flyhalf Jaco van der Westhuyzen will formally coach the Dragons.
The Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs are confirmed as two of the eight elite professional teams for the third staging of rugby’s newest, and most exciting, format.
South African Dave Wessels will bring his exciting Western Force squad to the tournament to defend the title they won in 2016 while the Brumbies are Australia’s other entrants.
The combined Africa Pacific Dragons will have the Springboks’ most capped Test player Matfield on their coaching staff while Japan’s Kubota Spears, who are making their debut, are coached by South African Frans Ludeke.
English club side Harlequins and French combined unit the Pyrenees Rugby Seven (PR7) complete the elite line-up.
The Vodacom Bulls team is:
Forwards: Jaco Visagie, Edgar Marutlulle, Nick de Jager, Boom Prinsloo, Shaun Adendorff, Roelof Smit, RG Snyman, Jannes Kirsten. Backs: Andre Warner, Ivan van Zyl, Tony Jantjies, Burger Odendaal, Dries Swanepoel, Duncan Matthews, Sibahle Maxwane, Kefentse Mahlo. JT Jackson is on standby in case of injuries.
Management: Nollis Marais, David Manual, Dr. Herman Rossouw, Xander Janse van Rensburg