Coach Louis Koen Names Side Brimming With Experience and Debutants for Kenya Clash

Interim head coach Louis Koen expresses confidence in the Springbok Women's rugby team’s preparation and readiness in gearing up to face Kenya on Saturday ahead of the upcoming WXV 2 tournament. Photo: SA Rugby

In an exciting match set to take place at the UWC Rugby Club in Cape Town on Saturday, the Springbok Women will face off against Kenya. The match, scheduled to kick off at 16:30, will be live-streamed on the SA Rugby YouTube channel. 

Interim head coach Louis Koen has expressed his confidence in the team and provided insight into their preparation and goals for the game. 

“We prepared well over the last couple of months, with alignment camps and the current assembly, where we had the full complement of players earmarked for the WXV tournament.”

Springbok Women Interim head coach, Louis Koen

“We had two good weeks in Potchefstroom and Johannesburg, and we are looking forward to this game,” said Koen.

Koen highlighted the challenges that Kenya poses, stating, “Kenya really tested us in the Africa Cup, and we are expecting another tough encounter from them. It will without doubt be a physical clash.”

The coach emphasised that the game against Kenya will serve as an important indicator of the team’s progress and readiness for the upcoming WXV 2 tournament. He said, “Our focus is to be competitive at the WXV, and this match will give us a good idea of our progress towards that goal.”

Unathi Mali, a talented player from the Bulls Daisies, will make her first start for the national team at wing after representing the Springbok Women’s Sevens team at previous major tournaments.

“Unathi has earned her first Test cap on Saturday.”

Springbok Women Interim head coach, Louis Koen

The interim coach also discussed the recalls of experienced outside backs Veroeshka Grain and Piwokuhle Nyanda, who’s inclusion adds depth and skill to the team: “Grain and Nyanda have excelled on the sevens scene and have proven their worth in previous appearances for the Springbok Women.”

In addition, Koen noted the contributions of Micke Gunter, Nolusindiso Booi, and Sinelitha Noxeke, saying, “Micke Gunter, who represented South Africa at last year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, also earned a recall for the first time this year.” 

Coach Koen went on to highlight the potential milestone achievements of Booi and Noxeke:

“Nolusindiso Booi has recovered from an Achilles injury and can join Zenay Jordaan as the most capped player in Springbok Women history. Sinelitha Noxeke will make her Test debut if she gets game time.”

Springbok Women Interim head coach, Louis Koen

As the match approaches, all eyes are on Libbie Janse van Rensburg, the leading points’ scorer for the Springbok Women. Koen expressed his confidence and expectation for van Rensburg, stating, “Libbie Janse van Rensburg looks set to improve on her record as the leading points’ scorer for the Springbok Women.”

The encounter against Kenya will mark the second time the Springbok Women face off this year, following their dominant 48-0 victory in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup. Koen believes this match will provide valuable insights into the team’s progress and readiness for the WXV 2 tournament.

As the Springbok Women prepare to showcase their skills and determination, Coach Louis Koen points to the team’s focus, preparation, and confidence, setting the stage for an exciting and highly anticipated game. 

The Springbok Women lineup v Kenya Lionesses in Cape Town

Byrhandrè Dolf (Bulls Daisies)
Veroeshka Grain
Jakkie Cilliers (Bulls Daisies)
Piwokuhle Nyanda (Mastercard Golden Lions Women)
Unathi Mali (Bulls Daisies)
Libbie Janse van Rensburg (vice-captain, Bulls Daisies)
Rumandi Potgieter (Bulls Daisies)
Lusanda Dumke (Bulls Daisies)
Catha Jacobs (Leicester Tigers Women)
Nompumelelo Mathe (Sharks Women)
Danelle Lochner (DHL Western Province)
Sinazo Mcatshulwa (DHL Western Province)
Babalwa Latsha (captain, Harlequins Women)
Roseline Botes (DHL Western Province)
Yonela Ngxingolo (Bulls Daisies).

Replacements:
Micke Gunter (Bulls Daisies)
Asithandile Ntoyanto (Bulls Daisies)
Amber Schonert (Sale Sharks Women)
Nolusindiso Booi (vice-captain, DHL Western Province)
Vainah Ubisi (Bulls Daisies)
Sinelitha Noxeke (Bulls Daisies)
Unam Tose (Bulls Daisies)
Mary Zulu (Sharks Women)


Photo Caption: Interim head coach Louis Koen expresses confidence in the Springbok Women’s rugby team’s preparation and readiness in gearing up to face Kenya on Saturday ahead of the upcoming WXV 2 tournament. Photo: SA Rugby

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