Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika celebrate Commonwealth Games gold – Photo: IRB/MSL
Barely a week after winning a superb gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, South Africa’s men’s Sevens team is set to turn its attentions back to the HSBC Sevens World Series.
After a few days’ rest and recovery the Springbok Sevens assemble back at their base in Stellenbosch on Monday to start preparations ahead the 2014/15 Series, which kicks off on Australia’s Gold Coast on 11-12 October.
171,000 fans attended the Rugby Sevens event at Ibrox Stadium during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset has hailed a record-breaking Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens event as the perfect Olympic Games springboard.
A Rugby Sevens world record crowd of more than 170,000 fans over four sessions were treated to thrills, spills and spectacular tries as the sport’s brand of high-octane action and carnival atmosphere demonstrated why it is one of the hottest Games tickets.
With two years to go until Rugby Sevens make its Olympic Games debut, fans in the stadium and watching around the world were given an exciting taste of what to expect at Rio 2016.
Lapasset said: “Glasgow 2014 has been the ideal stage to showcase our sport and the perfect springboard to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
For real . . . South Africa wins gold in Glasgow after defeating New Zealand 17-12 in the final. Photo: Skysports
Rugby sevens’ debut at the Rio Olympics is set to be extended to a six-day event from the weekend festival that’s become commonplace at the Commonwealth Games and on the IRB world circuit.
But IRB chief executive officer Brett Gosper insists the integrity of the high intensity game won’t be compromised.
IOC officials have advised the IRB to try to increase the visibility of their sport if they wish to ensure sevens lasts longer than the guarantee of two Olympics it’s been given so far.
South Africa’s Warren Whiteley attacks in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Photo: Skysports
South Africa made history by handing New Zealand their first ever Commonwealth Games defeat to take Gold in Glasgow.
Brilliance from the Blitzbokke, even without captain Kyle Brown for the whole contest, marked a special moment.
Cecil Afrika, who had been the flagbearer for South Africa at the opening ceremony, scored the crucial try that separated the two teams in the end.