MIXED IT UP: Sevens’ Powell. CREDIT: Sourced

Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell named 19 players in his preliminary squad to prepare for the Olympic Games in Rio.

The squad will be cut down to 12 members by the middle of next month and will travel to Brazil as part of Team SA.

The Blitzbokke begin with on-field training in Stellenbosch today.

Powell rewarded a number of players who helped the Blitzboks finish second in the World Series, winning one tournament, contesting four finals and eight semifinals.

Powell says: “Looking at our objectives for the season, we obviously wanted to win the series.

“But it was the year of the Olympics and we needed to test some more players, not just from the fifteens code, but also players that have been in our squad for a while.

“Looking towards to the Olympics, the next two months are very important to us. We need to train with purpose.

“We have a good mix of sevens and fifteens players and will play in one warm-up tournament early in July before we jet off to the Olympics.”