Zintle Mpupha will Lead the Springbok Women Sevens’s Dubai SVNS Campaign 

The South African Women’s Sevens team will be relying on Zintle Mpupha at the Dubai Sevens from 2-3 December 2023. She is a player who has a wealth of experience in the rugby arena and will certainly be a go-to for the team as they look to make this a successful trip. Photo: Springbok Women on X

The South African Women’s Sevens team will be relying on Zintle Mpupha at the Dubai Sevens from 2-3 December 2023. She is a player who has a wealth of experience in the rugby arena and will be a key player for the team as they aim for a successful trip. 

Mpupha, a Sevens star, began her sporting career as a cricket player in the Eastern Cape. While she admits she has a deep love for cricket, she realised that the rugby field is where she wanted to do her thing. 

“I was blessed to grow up in a family of cricketers. Cricket has always been my first love, it brought me into a broader spectrum of sport. I was snatched out of cricket into rugby after a cricket session and I am grateful to the ladies that asked me to join rugby. I never thought I’d be playing rugby, I thought I would still be playing cricket.”

Mpupha excelled at such a pace that she played for u-19 Border Cricket side at the tender age of 14 and went on to make her senior debut in 2011. After her success, she was called up to the South African women’s under-19 team. 

On the rugby front, Mpupha joined the Border Bulldogs. In 2013, she began her tertiary education at the University of Fort Hare and made the switch from Sevens rugby to rugby union. She completed her degree in 2016 and then returned to the Sevens and in 2017 she was given a professional contract by the South Africa women’s national rugby sevens team. And like they say, the rest is history … 

The flyhalf went on to become the first South African player in the Women’s Premiership after she joined Exeter in 2021. Mpupha is no stranger to the big stage having played in the 2022 Women’s Rugby World Cup and will again switch disciplines for this weekend’s tournament. 

The Bok Women Sevens co-captain, has played in 6 tournaments and has scored 40 points so far. She is known for her scoring prowess which will come in handy when her team faces New Zealand, Fiji, and Great Britain on Saturday on the opening day.  

“We are targeting a good start in this first leg, score as much as we can and it’s points that matter at the end of the series. That is what we are focusing on and focusing on ourselves. We must be willing to manage it every day, it’s not going to be an easy job. We will have to do a lot of homework but I am just open to going with the flow and not forgetting to work on ourselves and remember what we can also bring to the table. 

“The girls will be amped when we are  at home as it’s always special.  We can use this excitement to help us this weekend in Dubai to not disappoint our supporters back at home because we will be playing in front of them the following week.”

The Cape Town leg of the Seven tournament takes place from 9-10 December at the Cape Town Stadium in Greenpoint. 

Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for Dubai

Forwards

Zintle Mpupha (co-captain) – 6 tournaments, 40 points (8 tries)
Liske Lategan – 3 tournaments, 10 points (2 tries)
Rights Mkhari – 2 tournaments, 10 points (2 tries)
Asisipho Plaatjies – 2 tournaments, 0 points
Simamkele Namba – 1 tournament, 0 points
Kyla de Vries – uncapped

Backs:

Mathrin Simmers (co-captain) – 14 tournaments, 35 points (7 tries)
Nadine Roos – 6 tournaments, 90 points (14 tries, 10 conversions)
Libbie Janse van Rensburg – uncapped
Marlize de Bruyn – 1 tournament, 5 points (1 try)
Shiniqwa Lamprecht – uncapped
Maria Tshiremba – uncapped
Ayanda Malinga – 1 tournament, 10 points (2 tries)

Pool A fixtures (Saturday 2 December – SA times)

07h44: New Zealand
10h43: Fiji
15h13: Great Britain

Emirates Dubai 7s Fixtures on Saturday, 2 December 2023 (All Times CAT)

07:00 Pool C, Match 1: USA v Spain (Pitch 1)
07:00 Pool C, Match 2: France v Canada (Pitch 2)
07:22 Pool B, Match 3: Australia v Brazil (Pitch 1)
07:22 Pool B, Match 4: Ireland v Japan (Pitch 2)
07:44 Pool A, Match 5: New Zealand v South Africa (Pitch 1)
07:44 Pool A, Match 6: Fiji v Great Britain (Pitch 2)
09:15 Pool C, Match 7: France v Spain (Pitch 1)
09:37 Pool C, Match 8: USA v Canada (Pitch 1)
09:59 Pool B, Match 9: Ireland v Brazil (Pitch 1)
10:21 Pool B, Match 10: Australia v Japan (Pitch 1)
10:43 Pool A, Match 11: Fiji v South Africa (Pitch 1)
11:05 Pool A, Match 12: New Zealand v Great Britain (Pitch 1)
13:45 Pool C, Match 13: Canada v Spain (Pitch 1)
14:07 Pool C, Match 14: USA v France (Pitch 1)
14:29 Pool B, Match 15: Japan v Brazil (Pitch 1)
14:51 Pool B, Match 16: Australia v Ireland (Pitch 1)
15:13 Pool A, Match 17: Great Britain v South Africa (Pitch 1)
15:35 Pool A, Match 18: New Zealand v Fiji (Pitch 1)

Click to View All Fixtures and Results


Photo caption: The South African Women’s Sevens team will be relying on Zintle Mpupha at the Dubai Sevens from 2-3 December 2023. She is a player who has a wealth of experience in the rugby arena and will certainly be a go-to for the team as they look to make this a successful trip. Photo: Springbok Women on X

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