REVEALED: Blitzboks’ star-studded lineup for Olympics

REVEALED: Blitzboks’ star-studded lineup for Olympics

Six players with previous Olympic Games experience, including 2016 bronze medalist Rosko Specman, have been included in the 14-man Blitzboks squad for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. 

Specman, who was capped by the Springboks in 2021, will partake in his second Olympic Games, alongside Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Selvyn Davids, Ronald Brown and Siviwe Soyizwapi, who were part of the Blitzboks squad that placed fifth in 2021 in Tokyo.

Brown and Katlego Letebele were named as travelling reserves in the Paris squad and will only be called upon in case of injury to one of the 12 players allowed for the squad and residence in the Olympic village.

BLITZBOKS COACH EXPLAINS HIS SELECTIONS

Springbok Sevens interim head coach Philip Snyman stuck to the group that won the Olympic repechage tournament in Monaco last month. That victory secured the last berth on the 12-team roster for Paris.

“I could not fault the effort from the guys that went to Monaco, and it was only fair that they were rewarded for that,” said Snyman.

“The Blitzboks missed out on qualifying for the Olympics during the normal series and at the African qualifiers, so the guys who did the job in Monaco deserved the opportunity.

“Also, as a team we played really well and with good understanding of each other, so it would have been counterproductive to break that by bringing in different players.

“I opted for the same guys that played in Monaco as well as Ronald, who was due to travel but picked up a late injury, and Katlego, who played in all our tournaments in the regular season apart from Madrid, when we rested some key players,” the Blitzboks head coach concluded.

South Africa will face Ireland, New Zealand and Japan in Pool A at the at Stade de France in Paris. Argentina, Australia, Samoa and Kenya will contest Pool B, while in Pool C, hosts France and defending champions Fiji will face USA and Uruguay.

Blitzboks’ pool schedule (SA times):

Wednesday 24 July:
17h30: Ireland
21h30: New Zealand

Thursday 25 July
16h00: Japan

Blitzbok squad for 2024 Olympic Games: Christie Grobbelaar, Ryan Oosthuizen, Impi Visser*, Zain Davids*, Quewin Nortje, Tiaan Pretorius, Shaun Williams, Selvyn Davids* (captain), Tristan Leyds, Rosko Specman**, Siviwe Soyizwapi*, Shilton van Wyk, Ronald Brown* (travelling reserve), Katlego Letebele (travelling reserve).

* indicates Tokyo 2021
** indicates Rio 2016

The Blitzboks are ready for action at the Olympic Games. Image: SA rugby website