Quade Cooper was the first to be told he wasn’t wanted by his national sevens side, then Jarryd Hayne was omitted and now the Rugby World Cup’s joint all-time top try scorer has been omitted from his national side’s olympic sevens team.
South Africa have announced their Sevens squad for next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with Kyle Brown named as captain but no place for Toulon wing Bryan Habana.
Once known as the fastest man in world rugby is joined by fellow 15-man Springboks Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski in being omitted from the squad for this summer’s games in Rio,
Hougaard has been included as one of two travelling replacements, along with Chris Dry, in the squad named by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Thursday.
“It was really tough finalising the 12-man squad presented to SASCOC,” admitted Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell.
“I could have picked three different teams and all would have been very competitive, but unfortunately, only 12 can go. We have named Francois Hougaard and Chris Dry as back-up players that will travel to Rio as well, but they will be staying outside the official village.
“I want to thank all 23 players that contributed this year and the final 19 who really worked hard towards a common goal. That said, we are not done yet and will have to work hard in the remaining 20 days or so to fine-tune our play.
“We are all excited about this as it does not come bigger than the Olympics, but also realise that there will be expectations for us to perform. We can only give our best and hope we can justify the great support we are getting from the public.
“We are not thinking medals, but rather on how to execute on our first match on day one of the tournament. We will focus on what we do well and that will hopefully bring the desired results.”
South Africa Sevens: Kyle Brown (c), Tim Agaba, Philip Snyman, Werner Kok, Dylan Sage, Kwagga Smith, Rosko Specman, Cheslin Kolbe, Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld, Juan de Jongh, Seabelo Senatla. Travelling reserves: Chris Dry, Francois Hougaard