Adonis’ inclusion is the only change to the side that clinched the Emirates Dubai Sevens title last weekend as he replaces Dewald Human, who picked up a groin injury at The Sevens Stadium, which ruled him out of Cape Town, the third stop on the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Adonis is no stranger to the squad and played in the opening tournament of the series in Hong Kong last month; he will be involved in his ninth World Series tournament, but will make his first appearance in the Mother City.
The Southern Cape-raised player has won the Currie Cup with the Toyota Cheetahs before he moved to sevens rugby and since joining the Blitzboks, Adonis has won gold medals in Vancouver, Edmonton, Malaga and Seville.
Ngcobo said the inclusion of Adonis will not affect the momentum picked up in Dubai.
“Darren has trained with us before we left for Dubai and then played there as well as part of the Samurai (SA Sevens ‘A’ team) in the invitational tournament. I managed to watch those games and he did very well, so I am happy to have him,” the coach explained.
“He covers flyhalf and centre and he kicks with both feet, so he brings a versatility element to the squad as well. Darren is experienced enough to slot in immediately and has done very well.”
Ngcobo said the focus for the team will remain inward, with a clear understanding of how they want to express themselves at the DHL Stadium.
“We have two identities – one on the field and one off the field,” he said. “In the latter, it is about being a brotherhood, caring for each other and driving a shared culture. We are nailing that one, so that drives us forward very well.
“The on-field identity is defence, we do not want people to score tries against us and if they do, they need to work really hard for it. We want to be dominant in defence and that attitude will not change this weekend.”
The Springbok Sevens squad:
Impi Visser – 23 tournaments, 118 matches, 125 points (25 tries)
Zain Davids – 34 tournaments, 170 matches, 160 points (32 tries)
Ryan Oosthuizen – 34 tournaments, 163 matches, 165 points (33 tries)
James Murphy – 10 tournaments, 46 matches, 50 points (10 tries)
JC Pretorius – 22 tournaments, 116 matches, 245 points (49 tries)
Masande Mtshali – 1 tournament, 1 match
Branco du Preez – 84 tournaments, 426 matches, 1442 points (101 tries, 466 conversions, 1 drop goal)
Ricardo Duarttee – 1 tournament, 6 matches, 30 points (4 tries, 5 conversions)
Darren Adonis – 8 tournaments, 33 matches, 54 points (10 tries, 2 conversions)
Muller du Plessis – 21 tournaments, 98 matches, 325 points (65 tries)
Shilton van Wyk – 6 tournaments, 34 matches, 50 points (10 tries)
Dalvon Blood – 2 tournaments, 10 matches, 25 points (5 tries)
Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 42 tournaments, 221 matches, 690 points (138 tries)
Springbok Sevens pool fixtures:
Friday 9 December
Saturday 10 December
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings:
32: South Africa, Australia
27: Fiji, USA
25: New Zealand, Argentina, Samoa