Danelle Lochner Can’t Wait to Wear the Green and Gold Again

Danelle Lochner admits there was an ‘emotional moment’ when the four England-based professionals also including Babalwa Latsha, Aseza Hele and Lindelwa Gwala joined the Springbok Women camp in Edinburgh on Sunday ahead of the important European tour. Photo: SA Rugby

There were smiles for miles in the Springbok Women camp in Edinburgh on Sunday evening when their four England-based professionals joined the squad, thus completing the 32 player tally for the important European tour.

Danelle Lochner, Babalwa Latsha and Aseza Hele joined from Harlequins Women and Lindelwa Gwala from Ealing Trailfinders and according to Lochner, it was an “emotional moment” joining the squad for their tour, which includes stops in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Madrid and London.

“Of course we miss home and everything associated with that and to see our team-mates again and become part of this special group was a great feeling,” said Lochner. “Four months is a long time, so to hear and see their faces again was just a welcome outlet of emotions.”

Lochner played in all 10 test matches in 2023 after making her debut againt Spain on the corresponding tour last year, and her good form earned her an invitation to join Harlequins in the Alliance Premiership. Such was her impact in England that she has been included in the Premiership Team of the Week already.

“The four months at Harlequins was a good experience for me and I learned a lot from the array of international players at the club,” she said. “To play against the best players in the world on a weekly basis is certainly something that improved me as a player. That said, the focus is now to get back into the Springbok Women team and contribute for the next three weeks on tour.”

Lochner had to give advice on dressing warmly, when to expect the sun again in the great Scottish capital city and on the exchange rate, but she was equally keen to learn the latest team moves, drills and lineout variations.

“I knew they were working really hard back home on conditioning during their alignment camps and one could see that they are fit and ready to get the season underway,” said Lochner.

“I am joining training on Monday and will have to get up to speed to the changes, but that is a nice challenge to have. The team is growing in experience and skill and that makes for an exciting future to be part of.”

Lochner doesn’t doubt that the Bok Women will be moving up the rugby ladder soon: “The talent is there, the hard work is being done and if we keep believing and focusing on getting the small things right on tour, we will see good results. It is going to be an exciting couple of weeks.”

She will bring a lot of physicality and experience to the squad in this time, but Lochner admitted with a smile that she cannot change the weather: “It does take time for the body to adapt, but it does. We will be good to go, sun or no sun.”

The Springbok Women Tour Squad

Forwards (19)
Sanelisiwe Charlie (Bulls Daisies) – 14 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
Xoliswa Khuzwayo (Mastercard Golden Lions Women) – uncapped
Babalwa Latsha (Harlequins Women) – 27 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Asiza Mkiva (DHL Western Province) – 6 Tests, 0 points
Aliyah Tchogna-Njamen (Mastercard Golden Lions Women) – uncapped
Lindelwa Gwala (Ealing Trailfinders Women) – 27 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Roseline Botes (DHL Western Province) – 15 Tests, 40 points (8 tries)
Micke Gunter (Bulls Daisies) – 8 Tests, 0 points
Nolusindiso Booi (captain, DHL Western Province) – 40 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
Vainah Ubisi (Bulls Daisies) – 9 Tests, 0 points
Samantha Els (unattached) – uncapped
Danelle Lochner (Harlequins Women) – 10 Tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Nomsa Mokwai (DHL Western Province) – 4 Tests, 0 points
Olwethu Kasibe (EP Queens) – uncapped
Sinelitha Noxeke (Bulls Daisies) – 1 Test, 0 points
Sinazo Mcatshulwa (DHL Western Province) – 27 Tests, 45 points (9 tries)
Anathi Qolo (Bulls Daisies) – uncapped
Aseza Hele (Harlequins Women) – 20 Tests, 35 points (7 tries)
Nompumelelo Mathe (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 17 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Backs (13)
Rumandi Potgieter (Bulls Daisies) – 13 Tests, 0 points
Tayla Kinsey (Hollywoodbets Sharks Women) – 30 Tests, 48 points (2 tries, 16 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
Alicia Willemse (DHL Western Province) – uncapped
Mary Zulu (Hollywoodbets Sharks Women) – 6 Tests, 2 points (1 conversion)
Byrhandrè Dolf (Bulls Daisies) – 9 Tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Piwokuhle Nyanda (Mastercard Golden Lions Women) – 8 Tests, 0 points
Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border Ladies) – 16 Tests, 35 points (7 tries)
Veroeskha Grain (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 17 Tests, 35 points (7 tries)
Jakkie Cilliers (Bulls Daisies) – 9 Tests, 26 points (2 tries, 5 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
Asiphe Mayaba (DHL Western Province) – 2 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Sikholiwe Mdletshe (Free State Women) – uncapped
Macaela Samboya, (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 2 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
Chuma Qawe (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 7 Tests, 0 points


Main Photo Caption: Danelle Lochner admits there was an ‘emotional moment’ when the four England-based professionals also including Babalwa Latsha, Aseza Hele and Lindelwa Gwala joined the Springbok Women camp in Edinburgh on Sunday ahead of the important European tour. Photo: SA Rugby 

Photo 2 Caption: Danelle Lochner (left) pictured alongside team members Roseline Botes (centre) and Catha Jacobs. Photo: SA Rugby

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