Women’s rugby is beating a path into the big leages. In this file photo, 15-women Springbok winger Phumeza Gadu and team-mates on the attack against Australia during the Women's Rugby World Cup 2010. Photo: rugbymatters.net

The South African Women Sevens squad completed their week-long training camp today in Cape Town in preparation for the first IRB-sanctioned women’s tournament to be held in Dubai on 2-3 December.

South Africa will be joined in the women’s draw by Australia, Canada, England, Brazil, China, USA and Spain and will compete for the IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup, which is being played alongside the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Eighteen players attended a week long camp in Cape Town to prepare for the trip to the United Arab Emirates. The final squad of twelve will assemble in Johannesburg this Thursday and leaves for Dubai next Sunday.

Sevens national women’s coach Denver Wannies is confident that the team’s build-up matches and preparations have them on song. Photo: SuppliedSA Women’s coach, Denver Wannies, said he was pleased with the outcome of the training camp.

Wannies was also full of praise for the contribution of former Springbok Sevens star Fabian Juries, whom he roped in as consultant to assist with skills drills and attacking strategies.

“Fabba has a huge amount of knowledge and experience gained from playing for so long on the World Series circuit. He gave the players some new insights and fresh ideas and I’m sure he enjoyed the involvement as much as the players,” said Wannies.

South Africa won the Africa Sevens (south zone) last month in Botswana to take a step closer to qualification for the 2013 IRB Women’s Sevens World Cup.

Wannies said his players are looking forward to the challenge in Dubai, especially since they have such few opportunities to play international Sevens.

“There is an international strategic plan underway to arrange more international matches for women, especially in Sevens where there is so much potential to grow the game. The Botswana tournament last month gave us a good platform to work from. However, everyone is fully aware that we will be playing at a much more intense and higher level in Dubai.

“It is exactly what our players need because you can only learn and grow as a player when you play against some of the best players in the world,” explains Wannies.

According to the coach, the week in Cape Town was divided into two parts – during the first few days they concentrated on fitness and conditioning while the second part was devoted to some intense training and technical sessions.