Wholesale Changes to Springbok Women’s Team for England Clash

Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer made wholesale changes to his match-day squad to face England in their final Rugby World Cup Pool C clash at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland on Sunday morning (kick-off 06h45 SA time).

Only six players will start in the same positions they did last week against Fiji – team captain Nolusindiso Booi, props Babalwa Latsha and Sanelisiwe Charlie, No 8 Aseza Hele, scrumhalf Tayla Kinsey and wing Nomawethu Mabenge – while Nadine Roos will move from fullback to wing, and Simamkele Namba from wing to outside centre.

Eloise Webb will start at fullback and Zenay Jordaan at flyhalf after both played off the bench against France and Fiji, while inside centre Chumisa Qawe will earn a first start in the tournament.

Forwards

In the pack, Lerato Makua and Lusanda Dumke will form a new-look loose forward combination with Hele after both played off the bench last weekend, while Roseline Botes comes in for Lindelwa Gwala at hooker, the only injury-enforced change to the team.

Catha Jacobs, who played off the bench against France, will start at lock alongside Booi, with the Saracens player making her first run-on appearance at the tournament.

The replacements also feature a host of new players as Raubenheimer opted to give everyone in the 32-player squad some playing time.

All of front row replacements Yonela Ngxingolo, Micke Gunter and Aziza Mkiva, lock Nompumelelo Mathe, scrumhalf Rumandi Potgieter, midfielder Jakkie Cilliers and outside back Chuma Qawe will be involved for the first time in New Zealand.

“We have always planned to give everyone a run if possible – all 32 players who came here were selected to play when called upon and that has not changed.” – Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer.

“We had a clear directive on what we wanted to achieve at this World Cup, but unfortunately it did not go our way against Fiji last Sunday. We will now give those players who have not played so far, the opportunity also to show they were worthy of selection.

“The experience to be at the World Cup will be beneficial to all in the squad after this match, as they would have experienced playing in the tournament. We could have gone with the same team, but that would not have the same benefits than exposing the wider group to topflight rugby.”

Raubenheimer said the matches against France and Fiji took their toll amongst the players: “The England match was always going to be a massive challenge; they have put 50 points past all their opponents in recent matches.

“So, our outlook for this match is slightly different. I hope the new players and those making tournament debuts will bring energy and excitement. The World Cup is different from a normal test match, it drains you physically, but also mentally in more ways than one, so we hope the new players will bring a fresh approach to the game.”

 

The Springbok Women team to face England in Auckland:

Eloise Webb – 9 tests, 30 points (6 tries)
Nomawethu Mabenge – 10 tests, 30 points (6 tries)
Simamkele Namba – 8 tests, 30 points (6 tries)
Chumisa Qawe – 9 tests, 5 points (1 try)
Nadine Roos – 10 tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Zenay Jordaan – 35 tests, 98 points (13 tries, 12 conversions, 3 penalty goals)
Tayla Kinsey – 23 tests, 48 points (2 tries, 16 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
Aseza Hele – 15 tests, 30 points (6 tries)
Lerato Makua – 6 tests
Lusanda Dumke – 18 tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Catha Jacobs – 8 tests
Nolusindiso Booi (captain) – 32 tests, 5 points, 1 try
Babalwa Latsha – 19 tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Roseline Botes – 7 tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Sanelisiwe Charlie – 6 tests

Replacements:
Micke Gunter – 3 tests
Yonela Ngxingolo – 18 tests, 5 points (1 try)
Azisa Mkiva – 1 test
Nompumelelo Mathe – 8 tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Sizophila Solontsi – 15 tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Rumandi Potgieter – 3 tests
Jakkie Cilliers – 2 tests, 13 points (1 try, 2 penalty goals, 1 conversion)
Chuma Qawe – 3 tests

Milestones:
Zenay Jordaan (35 tests) will extend her record as most-capped Springbok Test player of all time.
Jordaan (98 points) could join Libbie Janse van Rensburg (103) as the only Springbok Women players to score 100 points for their country.
Chumisa and Chuma Qawe will become the first pair of twins to play for South Africa at the Rugby World Cup.
Chumisa and Chuma Qawe, Micke Gunter, Yonela Ngxingolo, Azisa Mkiva, Nompumelelo Mathe, Rumandi Potgieter and Jakkie Cilliers will make their Rugby World Cup debuts.

 

With editing by gsport

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