Babalwa Latsha Eager to Lead Bok Women Against Samoa in Saturday Friendly

Springbok Women captain Babalwa Latsha pictured forging the team’s fortunes forward against Kenya’s Lionesses in the team’s 77-12WXV Tournament warm-up match win. Photo: SA Rugby

There is deep gratitude and excitement in the ranks of the Springbok Women squad as they prepare to take on Samoa in a test match in Hermanus on Saturday, as this will give them yet another opportunity to strengthen their identity as a team, on- and off the field.

That is the view of Springbok Women captain Babalwa Latsha in preparation of the match, which is scheduled to start at 15h00 at Hermanus High School. It will be both teams’ final opportunity to prepare in a match situation before WXV 2 kick offs in Stellenbosch next Friday.

The Springbok Women had a late injury set-back when Jakkie Cilliers was ruled out of the match and WXV 2 due to an ankle strain. She has been replaced in the starting team by Unathi Mali, who was originally named on the bench.

In the absence of Cilliers, Bok Women head coach Louis Koen opted to include six forwards and two backs among the replacements, with Micke Gunter coming onto the bench for the Samoa match.

Opportunity Beckons Amongst the Unknowns

Latsha said: “We are not only getting another opportunity to play Test rugby, but also at a venue we have not played at before.

“We want to play in front of new faces and fans, but as important is that this match will give us yet another chance to look at our executions when it comes to our game plan.

“Samoa will bring a physical challenge, but that is exactly what we want to face right now. We make no bones about the fact that we are also a team that get energy from set pieces and physicality, but we also have speed and skills in our squad. This match will give us that final opportunity to smooth out any hiccups.”

A Proper Test

Latsha said they are under no illusions that this will be a proper Test match, with special milestones for Nolusindiso Booi – who will become the most capped Springbok Women’s player – and Maceala Samboya, who will earn her first cap.

“It’s wonderful to share both sides of the spectrum on one day – we are very happy for Maceala as she is from the Boland region,” said Latsha.

“What can one say about Cindi? She has been such a driving force in the women’s game for so many years now. To be able to share this achievement with her tomorrow is something very special for all of us.

“She has also helped me tremendously in my own career and development as a player, as she did for so many other players.”

Latsha said they are hoping for a good crowd: “We want to spread our brand and inspire young women to take up the game and this is such a wonderful opportunity to do that.”

The match kicks off at 15h00 and entrance is free, while the action will also be streamed live on the Official Springboks YouTube channel.

Springbok Women vs Samoa in Hermanus

15. Byrhandrѐ Dolf – 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)
14. Micaela Samboya – uncapped
13. Veroeshka Grain – 13 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
12. Piwokuhle Nyanda – 4 caps, 0 points
11. Unathi Mali – 1 cap, 5 points (1 try)
10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg (vice-captain) – 16 caps, 159 points (7 tries, 47 conversions, 9 penalty goals, 1 drop goal)
9. Unam Tose – 16 caps, 0 points
8. Lusanda Dumke – 24 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
7. Catha Jacobs – 11 caps, 0 points
6. Nompumelelo Mathe – 15 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
5. Vainah Ubisi – 5 caps, 0 points
4. Nolusindiso Booi (vice-captain) – 36 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
3. Babalwa Latsha (captain) – 23 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
2. Roseline Botes – 12 caps, 40 points (8 tries)
1. Asithandile Ntoyanto – 18 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Replacements

16. Luchell Hanekom – 1 cap, 0 points
17. Yonela Ngxingolo – 24 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
18. Amber Schonert – 3 caps, 0 points
19. Danelle Lochner – 6 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
20. Sinazo Mcatshulwa – 23 caps, 45 points (9 tries)
21. Micke Gunter – 5 caps, 0 points
22. Rumandi Potgieter – 8 caps, 0 points
23. Mary Zulu – 4 caps, 2 points (1 conversion)

Match Details: Springbok Women v Samoa Women

Venue: Hermanus High School, Hermanus
Kick-off: 15h00
Referee: Precious Pazani (Zimbabwe)
Assistant referees: Giana Viljoen, Zoe Naude
TMO: Quinton Immelman
Livestream: Official Springbok YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/63v594x8


Photo Caption: Springbok Women captain Babalwa Latsha pictured forging the team’s fortunes forward against Kenya’s Lionesses in the team’s 77-12WXV Tournament warm-up match win. Latsha says that she and the Springbok Women’s squad

relishing the opportunity to take the game to world no. 16-ranked Samoa in Samoa in Hermans on Saturday afternoon . Photo: SA Rugby

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