Maria Tshiremba Adds Speed to Bok Women’s Sevens in Singapore

Bok Women 7s team-mates Maria Tshiremba, Mathrin Simmers, Zintle Mpupha and Eloise Webb smile in this SA Rugby image. Springbok Women’s Sevens Head Coach Renfred Dazel makes three changes for next weekend’s HSBC SVNS tournament in Singapore, and he’s banking on Maria Tshiremba’s return from injury for the difference secure first-ever wins against Pool B opponents USA, France and Japan. Photo: SA Rugby

Speedster Maria Tshiremba will make a welcome return to the Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for next weekend’s HSBC SVNS tournament in Singapore, the seventh of eight in the 2024 season.

Tshiremba, who scored four tries in as many tournaments, limped off in Vancouver and missed the next two tournaments in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, but she has now fully recovered to add punch to the South African attack. She replaces Alichia Arries on the wing in one of three changes to the side that played in Hong Kong earlier in the month.

Eloise Webb, who fell ill shortly before Hong Kong and was replaced by Donelle Snyders, returns to the squad, while Felicia Jacobs will add some nippy running in only her second world series appearance.

Jacobs made her debut in Cape Town in 2022 and comes in for Zandile Masuku, who was ruled out this week due to an ankle injury sustained at training in Stellenbosch.

Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel said Tshiremba will add pace to their attack, as she has scored some excellent tries during the campaign.

“Maria can finish, make no mistake,” said Dazel. “It is only her first season on the circuit and she made some mistakes, but her attacking ability is clear for all to see.”

“I can recall her match winning try against Great Britain in Perth and how that victory gave the squad confidence, so we will be looking at more of the same from her.”

Masuku looked set for a second appearance after her debut in Hong Kong, but unfortunately she injured her ankle in training early in the week.

Incidentally Jacobs, who turns 26 next month and also played five Test matches for the Springbok Women at scrumhalf, has just completed her rehabilitation from injury.

“I am happy for Felicia, as she missed out on the Challenger Series last year and the start of the 2024 season, but she finally gets a chance and that is good reward for her commitment in rehab,” Dazel said. “She will enjoy our attacking platforms as she is a very good runner with ball in hand.”

Dazel was happy to welcome back Webb, who plays flyhalf, for their trip to Singapore: “She is such a calm influence and it was a pity that she missed out in Hong Kong after training so well beforehand.”

South Africa will face USA, France and Japan in Pool B and although the Bok Women are yet to beat any of those opponents this season, Dazel remained upbeat.

“We had good moments and halves against all of them so far this season and will go into each match knowing that we have a fighting chance,” he said. “Our focus will be that first match though, where a good start will be huge for our confidence.”

Their first appearance in Singapore will also not deter the team as Dazel has played there in his Blitzbok days and has good advice to his players: “The humidity will be factor, but they have experience some of that in Hong Kong. Singapore will be even more humid, but we don’t need to change anything in our preparations.”

Springbok Women’s Sevens Squad to Singapore

#4 Zintle Mpupha (co-captain) – 10 tournaments, 55 points (11 tries)
#20 Kyla de Vries – 4 tournaments, 0 points
#18 Shiniqwa Lamprecht – 6 tournaments, 0 points
#3 Ayanda Malinga – 6 tournaments, 55 points (11 tries)
#12 Liske Lategan – 8 tournaments, 15 points: (3 tries)
#8 Shona-Leah Weston – 7 tournaments, 10 points (2 tries)
#13 Kemisetso Baloyi – 6 tournaments, 0 points
#6 Felicia Jacobs – 1 tournament, 0 points
#10 Mathrin Simmers (co-captain) – 19 tournaments, 35 points (7 tries)
#7 Eloise Webb – 7 tournaments, 7 points (1 try, 1 conversion)
#14 Simamkele Namba – 7 tournaments, 10 points (2 tries)
#9 Nadine Roos – 11 tournaments, 187 points (25 tries, 31 conversions)
#16 Maria Tshiremba – 4 tournaments, 20 points (4 tries)


Original Copy: SA Rugby, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: Bok Women 7s team-mates Maria Tshiremba, Mathrin Simmers, Zintle Mpupha and Eloise Webb smile in this SA Rugby image. Springbok Women’s Sevens Head Coach Renfred Dazel makes three changes for next weekend’s HSBC SVNS tournament in Singapore, and he’s banking on Maria Tshiremba’s return from injury for the difference secure first-ever wins against Pool B opponents USA, France and Japan. Photo: SA Rugby

Photo 2 Caption: Maria Tshiremba, Eloise Webb and Felicia Jacobs come into the #BokWomen7s squad for the #HSBCSVNS in Singapore. Photo: WomenBoks on Instagram 

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