Johannesburg – The squad for the women’s Rugby World Cup qualifier against Uganda in East London on September 7 was announced on Wednesday.
“We have selected the best possible squad for the World Cup qualifier,” Springbok women’s rugby caretaker coach Aslam Abrahams said.
“Most of the players boast invaluable international experience, and many of these ladies have played together before, so they know each other well.
The squad features 17 players who participated in the recent Women’s Nations Cup in Colorado, including captain Mandisa Williams, play-makers Zenay Jordaan and Veroeshka Grain, and three SA under-20 players who took part in the Nations Cup tournament in London.
Border centre Ziyanda Tywaleni and Sharks lock Dolly Mavumengwana, who boast vast experience, have also been included in the squad.
Abrahams included new faces Jacqueline Kriel (Blue Bulls), Nombasa Nagile, Asithandile Ntoyanto, Sinazo Tsawu (Border) and Nomsa Mokwai (Leopards) as part of his plan to expand the pool of players.
The squad will gather in East London on Sunday to begin their preparations for the clash at Buffalo City Stadium, and will remain in camp until September 8.
Abrahams was delighted with the quality of his squad and hoped the experience the players’ gained at the Nations Cup tournaments would count in the team’s favour.
A victory for the Springbok Women would secure their place in next year’s International Rugby Board Rugby World Cup in France.
“The fact that a Rugby World Cup place is at stake is massive motivation, so the ladies know they will have to give their all next week to achieve our goal of participating in the showpiece,” said Abrahams.
“Fortunately we saw first-hand what our shortcomings were at the Nations Cup, so we have an idea of the areas we need to improve on going into the clash.”
Springboks Women’s squad: Nolusindiso Booi (Border) Marlien Cronje (Blue Bulls) Nomathamsanqa Faleni (Eastern Province) Veroeshka Grain (Western Province) Natasha Hofmeester (Western Province) Laurian Johannes (Western Province) Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province) Tayla Kinsey (Sharks) Jacqueline Kriel (Blue Bulls) Thantaswa Macingwana (Border) Dolly Mavumengwana (Sharks) Andrea Mentoor (Western Province) Nomsa Mokwai (Leopards) Lamla Momoti (Border) Zintle Mpupha (Border) Nombasa Nagile (Border) Nwabisa Ngxatu (Border) Zandile Nojoko (Eastern Province) Asithandile Ntoyanto (Border) Fundiswa Plaatjie (Border) Marnezelle Rabie (SWD) Daphne Scheepers (Eastern Province) Mathrin Simmers (SWD) Sinazo Tsawu (Border) Ziyanda Tywaleni (Border) Vuyolwethu Vazi (Blue Bulls) Mandisa Williams (Border) Thandi Xwetu (Blue Bulls). – Sapa