DHL Western Province star Cheslin Kolbe has joined the Springbok Sevens training group in Stellenbosch, the South African Rugby Union confirmed on Monday.
The training group will finalise their preparations at the end of this week for the next two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in Dubai and Port Elizabeth.
The 12-man Springbok Sevens squad will be named on Friday afternoon and the group will fly out this coming Sunday from Cape Town to Dubai. The Dubai Sevens takes place on November 29-30 and the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens on the weekend of December 7-8 in Port Elizabeth.
SARU will also announce a 12-man squad to play in the annual Dubai International Invitational tournament in two weeks’ time.
Kolbe’s last appearance for the Springbok Sevens was in July, when he played in the 2013 Rugby World Cup in Moscow, shortly after he represented the Junior Springboks at the IRB Junior World Championship in France.
Since returning from Moscow, he has establish himself as a key figure in the DHL Western Province backline during the Cape side’s Absa Currie Cup campaign.
Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, described the addition of Kolbe as a huge boost for the squad and said he expects the player to slot in very quickly.
“Cheslin is very familiar with our set-up because he played for the SA Sevens Academy in Dubai in 2012 and was part of the Bok Sevens squad in PE last December. He is an exciting attacking player and someone that will obviously add a lot of value to our existing squad,” explained Powell.
South Africa is currently fourth on the World Series standings after the opening round at the Gold Coast.
The Springbok Sevens will open their Pool D fixtures in the 50,000-capacity 7he Dubai Stadium against Argentina next Friday, before meeting Russia during mid-morning. Their last pools match is an evening clash with the powerful Samoan outfit, who is also the defending Dubai champions.