Geduld and Sage set to clinch Olympic gold

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Olympic bronze medalists Justin Geduld and Dylan Sage have been included in the 17-man rugby sevens preliminary squad for Tokyo 2020 announced by SASCOC.

The two men are the only “survivors” of the last Olympic Games held in Brazil five years ago.

Geduld and Sage vying for Olympic comeback

The experienced Blitzbok duo rose to the podium after the South African team beat Japan in the bronze final in Rio five years ago and could face the same opponents again in two matches of preparation in Kagoshima City next month, if they are included in Neil Powell’s The Last 14-man Touring Team on July 5.

Geduld is a mainstay of the Blitzboks squad and has reached the milestone of 50 World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments, while Sage made a late charge to be part of the squad, back from France, where he exercised his trade with Montauban in a surge of the XV.

Dylan Sage during the USA Sevens Rugby tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium. PHOTO: David Becker / Getty Images

The Blitzboks have prepared a lot for the Tokyo centerpiece, although they have been deprived of international competition for most of the last year due to the pandemic, but Powell used the time well to refine plans for match and individual development, while also providing some much-needed rehabilitation time after injuries.

Stedman Gans, Selvyn Davids, Ruhan Nel and Siviwe Soyizwapi all are recovering from injuries and have been included in the larger squad with a squad of regular Blitzboks, while Ronald Brown and Lubabalo Dobela are in contention for an exciting first if they are making the trip to Tokyo, and making their international debut at Seven in Japan.

The two most capped Blitzboks of all time, Chris Dry and Branco du Preez, were also named to the squad. Du Preez missed the selection in 2016 and his inclusion is a great example of his determination. Dry traveled to Rio as the 14th player, but did not play.

Special moments

Former Springboks scrum-half Francois Hougaard, who was the reserve rear in Rio, entered the pitch when he replaced Seabelo Senatla on the final day of competition, and then handed his bronze medal to the injured winger.

“I am satisfied with this group; they really deserve this chance to compete for the ultimate sport prize, ”said Powell.

“We’re still five weeks away from our first game, so I have some time to make the tough decision to leave three guys behind, but they’ll be on standby anyway. Rugby is a fun game though, especially with the injuries and uncertainties surrounding Covid, so the door is never closed on anyone, even from outside this group.

“It’s been a team effort from the start, but at the end of the day only seven players can play and every player understands it. We have prepared as best we can, and I know we will provide a competitive effort. “

Powell will name the traveling team of 14 (12 players and two reserve players) a week before they leave for Tokyo on July 12.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Preliminary Team:

1. Sakoyisa Makata

2. Dylan Sage

3. Impi Screw

4. Zain Davids

5. Angelo Davids

6. JC Pretorius

7. Branco du Préez

8. Selvyn Davids

9. Justin Geduld

10. Kurt-Lee Arendse

11. Siviwe Soyizwapi

12. Stedman Gans

13. Ronald Brown

14. Chris Sec

15. Ruhan Nel

16. Muller du Plessis

17. Lubabalo Dobela

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