Neil Powell to be ‘digital’ coach in South Africa’s quest for Olympic rugby gold

The Olympic Sevens rugby competitors, the place South Africa will likely be among the many favourites, begins on July 26

Final Up to date: 18/07/21 9:16pm

Neil Powell has examined constructive for COVID-19

The South African Sevens rugby aspect have turned to video conferencing of their bid to win a gold medal on the Olympic Video games in Tokyo as Neil Powell takes on the position of digital coach to steer the squad from his isolation room in Kagoshima.

Crew South Africa have been hit by 4 infections, one within the Sevens rugby aspect and three inside the soccer group competing on the Video games.

Sevens head coach Powell has examined constructive for COVID-19 and should isolate for 14 days, which means he won’t be on the sidelines when one of many pre-tournament favourites go for gold from July 26-28.

However he’ll proceed to assist the aspect he has coached since 2013 of their preparations this week, albeit by means of a pc display screen, and can liaise with assistant coach Renfred Dazel on match-day.

“We got here to Japan well-prepared, with the onerous work carried out at dwelling, so that is only a small distraction in that larger image,” Dazel stated in a media launch from SA Rugby on Sunday.

“It’s going effectively, the gamers tailored effectively to the state of affairs, so credit score to them.”

Your complete squad was positioned in quarantine on arrival in Japan once they have been recognized as shut contacts of an contaminated particular person on their flight from Doha to Tokyo. The group, bar Powell, have since been cleared.

That delayed the group’s arrival at their base camp in Kagoshima from Wednesday to Saturday as they remoted in Tokyo, which means they’ve missed some important coaching days.

“We clearly want a while out on the sphere from a bodily viewpoint, so we hope to stretch the legs a bit,” Dazel stated.

“We’re all nonetheless in good spirits and perceive that we will not change these issues we will not management. We did handle so as to add some enjoyable parts into the adjusted coaching schedule and that definitely helped.”

South Africa received a bronze medal below Powell on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and they are going to be among the many favourites once more. They’re in Group C with america, Kenya and Eire.

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