The SA Vipers are serious about defending their Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Sevens title, which they won under the Emerging Boks name last year.

Team manager Sebastian Prim said they have pinned down the tournament, which starts at Pearson High School tomorrow, as one of their major objectives in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup in Dubai.

Prim said yesterday they would be approaching the Port Elizabeth tournament with the same intensity as any of the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) events.

The team will include newly capped SA Sevens players Kyle Brown (UCT) and Mliwadze Nqoro (Sharks), who respectively made their debuts for the victorious Springbok teams in the Dubai and George IRB tournaments. Norman Nelson (SWD) is the third Bok player in the team.

Jacques Steyn, from the NMB Sevens, said the Samurai international team – which consists of local and British players – could prove to be a major stumbling block for the Vipers.

He also named the SA Correctional Services team as a strong contender. They won the World Police and Fire Games last year.

The tournament will, according to Steyn, also see a number of provincial men’s teams, including squads from Western Province, Griquas, Eastern Province, Border and the Golden Lions.

The Universities of Johannesburg and Free State as well as the Dragons invitational team – selected from the Blue Bulls feeder area – should also play a part.

Prim said the two recent Springbok victories have created a fantastic hype around Sevens. “These triumphs undoubtedly put the sevens code in the spotlight and the sport is now really enjoying the media coverage and acknowledgement it deserves.”

He said since they were always on the look-out for new talent, they would most certainly pay close attention to the other matches.

The 15-a-side exhibition match between the SA Rugby Legends and Grey Old Boys promises to be another highlight. This match starts at 6pm on Saturday.

The Springboks and Uganda are the top women’s teams.

The SA Vipers serve as an extended squad to the Springboks, which consist of 12 players.

Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
082 575 7991
041 368 4992

On behalf of:

Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens