South Africa's sevens side and Super 12 Sharks both want the 'Pocket Rocket' A tug of war has developed over Springbok utility back Brent Russell, who is caught in the middle of a country-or-club - in this case Super 12 franchise - fight and could miss out on the World Cup at the Hong Kong Stadium next week. Speed merchant Russell has been included in South Africa's 12-strong squad for Hong Kong, but the country's sevens management has warned the International Rugby Board (IRB) that it could be forced to make a late change if the Durban-based Super 12 team Sharks refuse to release him. 'We have included him in our team for Hong Kong. But we are uncertain if he will make it to Hong Kong at this moment as he has still not been released by the Sharks,' said South Africa's sevens coach Paul Treu. 'We are presently discussing his fate.' Both the sevens squad as well as the Sharks desperately want the 'Pocket Rocket' in their lineups. The blond-haired dynamo, who is currently one of the biggest names in South Africa rugby, has unfortunately been unable to help the Sharks so far this season as they flounder at the bottom of the standings after losing their opening two matches in the Super 12. With a game against the Hurricanes tomorrow night and one against another New Zealand side, the Highlanders, next Saturday, the Sharks are reluctant to give up Russell at such a crucial time. 'Both games are crucial to us. It goes without saying that Brent is a key player for us. He is a world-class sevens player and he is also a world-class 15s player. I can understand the needs of the sevens squad, but we need him also,' said Sharks coach Kevin Putt. Putt added: 'But the decision is out of my hands. It is up to South Africa Rugby and the Sharks management to decide what is best. I have spoken to the sevens coach and we are supporting each other. We would both like to succeed.' Treu says Russell's inclusion in the side is crucial if South Africa are to stand any chance of winning the World Cup. On his debut appearance in the SAR at the 2002 Hong Kong Sevens, Russell starred and went on to win the Best and Fairest Player Award. 'He will make a huge difference to the team if he is available. We badly need a playmaker at flyhalf and he would be just perfect for the job. I would dearly love to have a player of his calibre in the team,' said Treu. 'But we also know that the Super 12 is the main competition back home and the Sharks are going through a lean spell. Whatever happens, Russell will be playing for the Sharks [tomorrow] against the Hurricanes. But we hope they will release him after that. 'He [Russell] has not played sevens for a long time. But he is the sort of player who will be able to slot in straight away and I don't think that is going to be a problem,' added Treu. The South Africans will be led by Jaco Pretorius and will have only three players from last year's Hong Kong Sevens squad - speedsters Fabian Juries and Danwell Dumas, and Mzwandile Stick. They have put Stefan Basson, who also played last year in Hong Kong, on standby in case Russell is roped in by the Sharks. 'We lost the bulk of last year's sevens squad to the Super 12s this season,' said Treu. 'Around 80 per cent of the players we had have been taken by the big teams. 'While it is great for the players concerned, it has left the sevens squad in a difficult position.' Forced to rebuild from almost scratch, South Africa have struggled in the four IRB Sevens events held this year and lie in fifth place, 36 points behind leaders New Zealand. 'It has been a difficult four tournaments for us this season. The furthest we reached was the semi-finals in Dubai and Wellington. But we have been gaining experience as we go along. It is a hard way to learn but you got to start somewhere. Hopefully all this will do us good next year,' Treu said. South Africa, seeded fifth, are in pool D with Argentina, Kenya, Tunisia, Russia and Uruguay. South Africa squad Tobela Mdaka, Lesley Jackson, Marius Schoeman, Schalk van der Merwe, Mzwandile Stick, Eddie Frederick, Brent Russell, Fabian Juries, Jano Vermaak, Jaco Pretorius, Danwell Dumas, Garet Krause.