Former Springbok flanker Jean Deysel praises quality of eight teams in 10-a-side showdown in Mauritius and says his young Cell C Sharks teammates should ‘lift’ Super Rugby players – and vice-versa
June 14, 2016: Jean Deysel was full of praise for the World Club 10s in Mauritius after the former Springbok and his Cell C Sharks teammates trained on a pitch beside a star-studded Africa Pacific Dragons squad featuring former New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Fiji internationals.
Deysel, who won four caps for South Africa, is captain of a Sharks side that features three other Super Rugby regulars – front rowers Dale Chadwick and Kyle Cooper and utility back Joe Pietersen – and many of the franchise’s top young talents.
The Sharks will face the APDs in Pool B on Saturday, when they’ll also tackle English champions Saracens and Euskadi, a French invitational side from the Basque region. Pool A features Australian Super Rugby franchises Aquis Brumbies and Western Force, French giants RC Toulon and the Italian All Stars.
All Black legend Jimmy Cowan is among several former internationals in the APDs, along with South African winger Tonderai Chavhanga and Fijian forward Sisa Koyamibole.
France-based duo Stephen Brett and Viliame Waqaseduadua, both former Super Rugby regulars, and Kenya Sevens star Billy ‘The Kid’ Odhiambo boost a strong APDs back line. The presence of Wallaby legend Will Genia also turned heads, although his participation is not confirmed.
Deysel said: “Everybody’s raving about being here. It’s a phenomenal effort the organisers have put in and phenomenal teams they’ve got here.
“Every team is loaded with star players and it’s going to be a fantastic event. I think it’s going to be fantastic for Mauritius and fantastic for every player involved, so everybody is excited to be here.”
The 31-year-old admitted he was among the first to put up his hand for a spot on the plane to Mauritius, where he enjoyed his honeymoon in 2010.
“It’s a special place,” Deysel said. “The people are phenomenal. It’s definitely a place you have to experience in your life. It’s so warm and welcoming, so when the names were drawn up to come here, I made sure my name was on the top of that list!”
Deysel and Pietersen, 32, are the oldest members of a squad bossed by Ryan Strudwick, the Sharks forwards coach. Deysel believes the combination of experience and youth will spur the team this weekend, highlighting centre Sandile Kubeka and No. 8 Ayron Schramm as potential stars.
“There are plenty of young players to watch out, like Sandile and Schramm. The youngsters bring a lot of energy. They’re so keen to run with the ball and it’s great for them to get an opportunity like this,” Deysel said.
“We’re really excited to play with them. I think they’ll lift us a bit and we’ll lift them a bit, and we’ll see how it goes on Saturday.”
Deysel, who has played for the Sharks since 2008, participated in the launch of the second World Club 10s in February, but admitted that the 10-a-side format was new to him and most of the squad.
“Tens is very new to us. The guys have said there’s a lot of running, so we’ll just make sure we’re fit, ready and throwing the ball around a bit. It’s something new for all of us, and new is always exciting. We’re all excited and ready to get going.”
The 2016 World Club 10s is sponsored by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Beachcomber Hotels, Air Mauritius, Emtel, Pepsi, MC Vision, Ciel Group, Impact Productions, BRM (official watch), Samurai (official ball), City Sport, Otayo, Tropic Knits and Fortis Clinique Darné.
Owned and organised by Carinat Marketing, the tournament is sanctioned by World Rugby, Rugby Union Mauritius and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Mauritius).
World Club 10s, Anjalay Stadium, Mauritius; June 18-19, 2016
Pool A: RC Toulon (France), Aquis Brumbies (Australia), Italian All Stars (Italy), Western Force (Australia)
Pool B: Cell C Sharks (South Africa), Africa Pacific Dragons (Pacific/Africa), Euskadi (France), Saracens (England)