8 October 2013
Neil Powell, a former Springbok Sevens captain, was on Saturday named as Paul Treu’s successor as coach of South Africa’s Blitzbokke.
Powell will take charge of the team for the first time at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia next weekend and will be assisted by his former teammate, Vuyo Zangqa, who was appointed as assistant coach.
“Following his retirement as an active player in 2012, we took Neil into our structures with a view to developing him as a coach of the future,” Jurie Roux, the CEO of the South African Rugby Union (Saru), said in a statement.
“It has been a thorough process in his appointment and he will continue the successful partnership he has had with Vuyo in recent times.
“Neil was a vastly experienced player and is very familiar with the HSBC Sevens World Series,” Roux added. “They make their debut in Australia next week and we’re looking forward to their contribution to the growth of our Sevens programme.”
Powell and Zangqa were part of the Springbok Sevens squad that won the HSBC Sevens World Series in the 2008/09 season.
The 35-year-old Powell, who also represented The Sharks, Vodacom Bulls, Cats and Toyota Cheetahs in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and GWK Griquas, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the Absa Currie Cup, played for South Africa in 32 tournaments on the HSBC Sevens World Series. He won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal with the team in 2010.
Zangqa, 32, a former Border Bulldogs and Leopards representative, played in 19 tournaments of the HSBC series. His playing career was brought to a premature end by a car accident in 2009 which affected his vision.
The Springbok Sevens team finished second in the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series, with New Zealand claiming the title. South Africa, however, won three tournaments, more than any other team.
They also won the World Games gold medal in Cali, Colombia in August.
SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby