Coach Jandré Blom said they would be sending a unit consisting of players from both the Port Elizabeth and George campuses to go up against the top university players in the country at the Villager Rugby Club from April 30 to May 2.
Blom said that training players in two separate locations did present some challenges.
“It is the second year that we are sending a combined team and it is a process. But I think we are already a few steps ahead compared to last year.
“We have six players who have experienced the tournament and know how challenging it is.”
He said the coaches met up before the USSA sevens tournament in December and worked out a game plan.
“So the players are familiar with the structures and calls as all the coaches are speaking the same ‘language’.”
The players at the two campuses also had the advantage of being able to play practice matches against each other.
The nature of sevens rugby meant the playing field was levelled and all teams could pose a threat, said Blom.
“Managing the players over nine pool games and knock-out rounds is therefore a critical issue.”
Although the Madibaz have not won any silverware, they have been competitive in the past.
Last year they were among five teams who won six of their nine pool games, but lost out on a quarterfinal spot on a points difference.
Kovsies beat two-time champions Maties in the final and will be back to defend their title.
Blom rated them as a formidable unit, but also expected a strong challenge from the Western Cape sides.
“Sevens is an unpredictable game – so let’s see what happens.”
Teams: University of Free State (Kovsies), University of Stellenbosch (Maties), NMMU-Madibaz, North-West University (Pukke), University of Pretoria (Tuks), University of Cape Town (Ikeys), University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg, University of Western Cape and Walter Sisulu University.
NMMU squad: Khaya Malotana, Ivan-John du Preez, Creswin Josephs, Dundre Maritz, Christian Willemse, Nathan Gogela, Etienne Cilliers, Voughan Casling, Zaine Marx, Riaan Esterhuizen, Bryce Rennie, Steven Hansel, Luan Nieuwoudt, Mihlali Gqibitole and Taswin Da Silva.