The Springbok Women arrived in France on Wednesday in a positive state of mind before their Test against the Women’s Rugby World Cup hosts in Marcoussis on Friday, which marks the final match on their World Cup warm-up tour. The tour was made possible by a R2,3m grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
The team departed for France shortly before 7am and arrived in Marcoussis at midday, where they will be based until the end of the tour. They immediately had a pool session to recover from the physical match against the Nomads on Tuesday and will have a video session later in the afternoon in preparation for the French match.
Loose forward Lamla Momoti, who led the team in both clashes in London, said her team was in high spirits after their series victory against the Nomads, but she admitted that they had to step up their game against France as it would be the toughest match on tour.
“There are several factors counting in France’s favour,” said Momoti. “They will be playing on their home ground, they will enter the match with confidence after winning the Women’s Six Nations earlier this year, and they have a team that has played several top-class matches this season. So I have no doubt that this will be a tougher test than that against the Nomads.
“However, I felt that as a team we learned a lot in the last two matches, and hopefully we can apply those lessons in the game against France. In Tuesday’s clash against the Nomads, in particular, we had to fight until the final whistle to secure the victory, and we believe that will assist in our mental preparation for Friday’s match.”
With the Springbok Women set to line up against France in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup in the same town in a little over a month, Momoti said it was important for her team to remain focused and to give their best efforts on the field.
“This match is a dress-rehearsal for our Rugby World Cup pool match, so it is vital that we make the most of this opportunity and perform well,” said the player. “If we deliver a solid performance it will boost our confidence going into the World Cup, so the players realise the importance of this match. That said, we know it will be tough, but fortunately we had two matches against the Nomads to prepare for the Test both mentally and physically.”The Springbok Women’s squad to face France will be named on Thursday.
The IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup will be hosted in France from August 1 to 17. The Springbok Women have been drawn in a challenging pool with France, Australia and Wales.