South Africa Sevens coach Paul Treu has replaced youth with the experience of Sevens veteran Marius Schoeman as he aims to tie up the 2008/09 IRB Sevens World Series at the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens this weekend.
The IRB website reports that Treu has released the outstanding Robert Ebersohn to captain the South African Under 20 squad at the IRB Junior World Championship in Japan and also Chase Minnaar, and recalls his former teammate Schoeman as well as Paul Delport.
“Marius has been around for almost the full 10 years of the Series and this might be his last tournament as well, so I think it’s a proper send-off for him,” said Treu.
“There’s definitely more than enough experience in the squad here to do the job for us this weekend.”
Treu has used just 17 players throughout this season and 10 of the Edinburgh squad of 12 experienced the high of winning the opening two tournaments of the season in Dubai and George. The omens are good as they set out on their final quest to nail down a first ever Series crown, and unite the Rugby World Cup with the World Series trophy.
“You could see that the players were a bit tense last week, especially against New Zealand (in the Cup semi) and there was a lot of pressure on us.”
If South Africa had not reached the Cup semis at Twickenham, they would be under even greater pressure this week in a tough pool featuring France, USA and New Zealand. However, the 12 points garnered from the London event leave them needing either a Cup quarter final place or victory in the Bowl at Murrayfield to clinch the Series.
One game at a time
“Hopefully the guys will play with a bit more freedom and the results will come. We’re definitely going to play a bit smarter, especially going into the New Zealand game but most of all we’re just going to take it one game at a time.
“Our approach is not going to differ from any of the other tournaments and hopefully we’re just going to top our pool on day one and then go all the way the second day.”
Last year New Zealand had the World Series tied up, but made the final day of their season extra special by winning the Edinburgh title to double the celebrations. Treu and experienced recruit Schoeman are now desperate to do the same.
“We’ve spoken about it and it will be such an anti-climax if we don’t win this one and then go up for the World Series trophy,” said Schoeman, who cruelly missed out on this year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens through injury.
“It’s going to be tough but the guys are looking focused and I think it will be such a high to finish off this first ever Series win for South Africa.”
“The team has grown enormously over the past years. I’ve seen a lot, having been part of it for nine years, and we just keep doing things so well. I’m looking forward to seeing how things go over the next four years.”Tweet