Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick will return home on Monday after he suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of the Wellington Sevens tournament in New Zealand.
SA Rugby reports that the inspirational South African captain got injured during the pool match against Tonga. South Africa travels to San Diego on Monday to play in the USA Sevens next week, the fourth leg of the IRB World Sevens Series.
Paul Treu, the SA Sevens coach, said that because of the nature of the injury and the expected time that it will take to heal, that Stick is most likely to miss the Sevens Rugby World Cup next month in Dubai.
Mpho Mbiyozo, who took over the captaincy from the injured Stick, will now lead the team in San Diego.
Injuries dealt the SA team a cruel blow in their quest to win three successive Series tournament titles. South Africa won the first two tournaments in Dubai and George.
Philip Snyman injured his hand against Kenya and did not play on Saturday. Gio Aplon also sat out as a precaution after he suffered a stiff neck on the opening day.
Rayno Benjamin was then ruled out of the Plate Final because of a two match suspension. The IRB imposed the sanction after he was cited and found guilty of dangerous play against the USA.
Treu said he was especially disappointed to lose the services of Stick: “He was in great form and we missed him today. He might not even go to the World Cup, which would be a massive blow for us. Stick will return home to start with his rehabilitation and Mpho will now lead the team,” confirmed the SA coach.
Treu is most likely to call on Vodacom Cheetahs’ Lionel Mapoe as a replacement for his injured captain. The official replacement will be confirmed on Monday.
According to Treu, Snyman and Aplon should be ready to return to action in San Diego.
South Africa is currently leading the Series log with 48 points after they managed to collect 8 points thanks to victory in the Plate Final over a Wales. New Zealand and England are both second on 44.
England captured their first Wellington Sevens and also their first Series title of the season, after they came from behind to beat hosts and defending champions New Zealand 19-17 in a thrilling final.Tweet