from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – SPRINGBOK Sevens players will on Thursday undergo compulsory coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, paving way for their return to training.
Coach Neil Powell said the tests would be part of the team’s strict compliance with protocols put in place by authorities as the lockdown against the pandemic ease.
The Springbok Sevens are preparing for their return to their Stellenbosch Academy of Sport base next week.
Powell confirmed the impending tests to pave way for the return.
“Not only are there certain protocols in place during our return to train phase of the lockdown, we also have to make sure the players are following those to the letter,” he stated.
The coach said the return to training will give the Blitzbok players a mental boost in addition to their physical level.
His squad last saw action in early March.
“The players will welcome the return no doubt,” Powell said.
“It has been tough on them mentally to be away from the game for so long and while they managed to train on their own during the lockdown period, it will also be good for them to get back into a training routine, although in smaller groups.”
Powell outlined the phased return to action.
The first month will focus on fitness and strength work.
“We plan to start with skills training in September. We are not rushed in any way at this stage, so this give us the ideal opportunity to make sure all players are getting into the right habits and protocols,” Powell said.
Rugby has not been spared the ravages of the global pandemic.
The Blitzboks were awarded the silver medal as the 2019/20 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series was cut short due to the global outbreak.
The last four tournaments have been cancelled while the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan have been postponed until August 2021.
– CAJ News