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Mauritius Coach Suggests Af...

Mauritius Coach Suggests Africa Sevens Needs More Strong Teams to Develop

On the field the players go hammer and tongs as they tear into one another in their team’s efforts to advance in the 2024 Africa Men’s Sevens in the tournament’s second leg this weekend, but off the field the camaraderie is noticeable.

That is how it should be and a reflection of the HSBC SVNS series, where the world ‘stop international teams stay in the same hotel more often than not.

The latest example of camaraderie and a willingness to assist in the development/ weaknesses of opposing teams was illustrated when home side Mauritius and South Africa had a scrummaging session on Thursday, July 4. What makes this of additional interest, is that the two sides face one another this Saturday, July 6 in the second round!

Jean-Baptiste Gobelet

Jean Baptiste Gobelet, Mauritius 7s coach, said ahead of the second leg of the Africa Men’s Sevens in Mauritius this weekend that he was happy with his players despite being eliminated at the quarterfinal stage last weekend.

Gobelet, a former French 7s player (2010-2015) who also played for Biarritz and Stade Francais in the Top14, is very involved with the development of the game in Mauritius.

After Mauritius and South Africa had the scrummaging session against each other as part of their preparations on Thursday, Gobelet spoke about the value of his team being exposed to stronger teams like South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.

“We are proud to have a team like South Africa here in Mauritius. It is a great opportunity to play against a team like them to bring another dimension to the game in Africa. I think we need to play with the best teams to raise the level of the game – and obviously, teams like South Africa are needed for us to play at this level in time.

“More exposure to top teams is good for the crowd, the atmosphere and the players. On the pitch, it is good to play the best team. There is more exposure for the players, and automatically the players get better as the team plays against stronger opposition

“We need South Africa, we need Kenya and the best teams to play against.”

Gobelet emphasized that, although they failed to advance beyond the quarters, they have to be and remain realistic.

“We reached the top eight for I think the first time, but it was mixed as we failed in the quarters. But we have to be realistic. We can’t just go to four, to two. We can reach beyond the quarters, but we need to take our time.

“Let’s repeat this performance to play in the top eight.

“Mauritius need to progress step by step, and take our time. I’m happy with my players, they played well beat Kenya and it’s the  sort of team we don’t play very often.”

“We need to play this type of physical games four, five times a year to raise our game,” added Gobelet.

To Access Full Interview:

Winner of the 2024 Africa Seven’s tournament will be determined on Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7 at Labourdonnais Sports Grounds in Mauritius. Matches will be available for free live stream and broadcast on the platforms below, kicking off at 9:00 AM (Local Mauritius Time) (08:00 EAT):


RugbyPass TV:


Rugby Africa YouTube:

Rugby Africa Facebook:



SuperSport OTT7: Channel 951

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