The SA Rugby Sevens Academy ended their two-week South American trip on a perfect note by winning the Sudamericarugby 7s tournament in Vina del Mar, Chile, early on Monday morning (SA time).

The South Africans also claimed gold in Punta del Este recently in the first of two tournaments held to determine the final two South American qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup Sevens, which will take place in San Francisco in July.

The victory in Chile completed a very satisfying trip for the Academy side, where Cell C Sharks fullback Rhyno Smith, and three former SA Schools Sevens players, Muller du Plessis, Angelo Davids and Henk Cilliers, were introduced to the rigours of international sevens rugby.

"We are delighted in the outcome of the trip," said Schoeman.

"Not only did the squad play to their full potential on Sunday to win the title, we also ticked other important boxes like blooding new players into the system and confirming the belief that our sevens structures are sound.

"We faced a host of international teams in South America and with two spots for the World Cup Sevens on offer, they came with a great purpose. Congratulations to Chile and Uruguay, who in the end qualified."

The South Africans had a tough opening day in Vina del Mar, where they lost to Ireland and drew against Brazil. They were in top form on the second day though, and dispatched Germany 26-12 in the quarter-final and Uruguay 29-7 in the semi-final.

In the final, the SA Rugby Sevens Academy outplayed the French Academy 34-7.

"That big score against France was a true reflection of how well the guys did in that final," said Schoeman. V Source: African News Agency