James Murphy, Ronald Brown, Dewald Human and Shilton van Wyk all played some part in the 2022/23 season, but for Justin Geduld, it will be a much-anticipated return after more than a year on the side line, having last played at the HSBC Spain Sevens in Seville in January 2022.

With Geduld back in the squad following recovery from knee and hip injuries, the Blitzboks have their current most capped player back for the first time this season, while he is also the leading points’ scorer in the squad.

The experienced flyhalf has played in 52 tournaments and scored 1060 points, which means Blitzbok coach Sandile Ngcobo could name his most experienced squad since taking over the reins at the start of the season.

The return of Brown, Human and Geduld also means that Ngcobo will have the luxury of five playmakers per match, an area of expertise that was lacking due to injuries at crucial times.

“Having all those playmakers around is going to be huge for us – not only because of their abilities, but the added value they bring,” said Ngcobo.

“All of them can kick with either left or right foot, so the shape of our restarts will change as well. The real assurance for me lies in their ability to bring experience and game management to the squad. It is great to have them back.”

For Ngcobo the experienced look of the squad will also manifest on the field. All of the selected players have been part of tournament winning squads at least once in their careers.

Justin Geduld is back in green and gold for the first time in January 2022.

Justin Geduld is back in green and gold for the first time in January 2022.

“We have worked hard over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“Since our return from Singapore, we had some discussions on how we want to approach the last two tournaments and there is a clear vision on how to get the results we are looking for. It is comforting to know all of these guys have done the job before and know how to get over the finish line first.”

Ngcobo said he was very happy for Soyziwapi to reach this special achievement.

“I was his roommate on his first trip and look where he is now,” he said.

“He epitomises hard work and dedication and has grown into an awesome player and leader. When you have ‘Shakes’ (Soyizwapi) on the field, there is a feeling of comfort for me as a coach.”

The Blitzboks (106) are in seventh place on the World Series log and need to overtake Australia (112) and Samoa (111) to finish in the top four and secure automatic Olympic Games qualification.

They will face Fiji, France and USA in a very competitive Pool C of the tournament, with their opening match against the hosts on Friday, 12 May at 14h35 SA time.

They will also play Fiji at 21h03 the same day, with their final pool game in Stade Ernst-Wallon on Saturday, 13 May at 13h49 (SA time).

The Springbok Sevens squad:

Ryan Oosthuizen – 41 tournaments, 197 matches (185 points, 37 tries)
Impi Visser – 30 tournaments, 157 matches (140 points, 28 tries)
James Murphy – 15 tournaments, 69 matches (55 points, 11 tries)
Ronald Brown – 11 tournaments, 53 matches (310 points, 30 tries, 80 conversions)
Dewald Human – 20 tournaments, 87 matches (226 points, 18 tries, 68 conversions)
Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 49 tournaments, 255 matches (745 points, 149 tries)
Mfundo Ndhlovu – 15 tournaments, 71 matches (90 points, 18 tries)
Christie Grobbelaar – 16 tournaments, 82 matches. (125 points, 25 tries)
Shaun Williams – 11 tournaments, 54 matches (125 points, 19 tries, 15 conversions)
Shilton van Wyk – 11 tournaments, 62 matches (120 points, 24 tries)
Justin Geduld – 52 tournaments, 270 matches (1060 points, 115 tries, 241 conversions, 1 penalty goal)
Travis Ismaiel – 3 tournaments, 14 matches (5 points, 1 try)
Ricardo Duarttee – 8 tournaments, 42 matches, (187 points, 14 tries, 57 conversions, 1 penalty goal)