Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel on Thursday named his squad for the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Amsterdam on 16 and 17 May.
The 12-member squad shows two changes from the group that was crowned the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Sevens champions in Kenya last month.
(Scroll down to view the team selection, and South Africa’s Group B fixtures, click here to read about the fifth consecutive Springbok win of the African Rugby Sevens title)
Star centre Mathrin Simmers was ruled out due to concussion, while lock Nomsa Mokwai was excluded from the squad in a rotational switch. Star wing Phumeza Gadu, meanwhile, is still recovering from the knee injury that ruled her out of the CAR Sevens and will also miss the tournament.
Lamla Momoti and Zintle Mpupha will replace Simmers and Mokwai in the squad. While Momoti is an experienced campaigner on both the 15-a-side and Sevens circuits, Mpupha will make her debut for the Springbok Women’s Sevens on the tour.
The Amsterdam Women’s Sevens World Series, which marks the last event on this season’s World Series calendar, is the only IRB tournament South Africa was invited to participate in.
The team will face Australia, Russia and France in the pool stages in Amsterdam. “We have a talented squad and we are fortunate to have players such as Lamla and Zintle to call on,” said Dazel.
“Lamla is an experienced player and this combined with her fantastic skills will add something different to the team. Zintle has also impressed me with her lineout and scrummaging skills at training and I am excited to see her in action in Amsterdam.”
South Africa won only one of their five matches in Amsterdam last year, and given the quality of their pool opponents this year Dazel was under no illusions about the challenge his team faces.
However, he expected a vastly improved showing from his charges this season. “We will be facing some of the best teams in the world in Amsterdam, so we know what we are in for,” said Dazel.
“But we have been working hard in the last few months to improve the quality of our play and I believe we have made good strides in that regard. So hopefully that will show in our performance.”
Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for IRB Women’s Sevens World Series: Lorinda Brown Rachelle Geldenhuys Nosiphiwo Goda Veroeshka Grain Zenay Jordaan (captain) Jacqueline Kriel Nomaphelo Mayongo Lamla Momoti Zintle Mpupha Marithy Pienaar Fundiswa Plaatjie Vuyolwethu Vazi Springbok Women’s Sevens Group B Fixtures, at the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 16 May: 12:42: Russia vs South Africa 15:04: Australia vs South Africa 18:10: France vs South Africa
Main photo caption: Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel has named his 12-member squad for the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, in Amsterdam on 16 and 17 May, including two forced changes from the team that was crowned the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Sevens champions in Kenya last month. In this file photo, the Blitsbokke celebrate their fifth consecutive African title. Photo: Supplied
(With editing by gsport)