The Springbok Women began finalisingtheir preparations for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup on Monday as the squad assembled in Cape Town for their World Cup holding camp. The World Cup tour has been made possible by a R2,3m grant by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
All 26 players named in the Rugby World Cup squad reported for duty on Monday including Springbok Women’s captain Mandisa Williams, who was withdrawn from the warm-up tour due to a knee injury, as well as centres Marithy Pienaar and Ziyanda Tywaleni, who missed the tour due to knee and hamstring injuries respectively.
The World Cup will be hosted in Marcoussis, outside of Paris, from August 1 to 17, with the Springbok Women set to face Australia, France and Wales in the pool stages.
Springbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka was pleased to welcome back his players for their final training camp and said: “It is good to have the team back together and it is pleasing to see the players fresh and ready for the big challenge that lies ahead. It is also satisfying to welcome Marithy and Ziyanda to the squad following their injury layoffs. The team realises that this is the last chance to work on the big things before the World Cup and they are all in the right frame of mind to achieve this.”
Sephaka said one of their main goals in the next two weeks before the team departs for France is to work on the areas of their game that let them down against the Nomads and France.
“We took several positives from our warm-up tour, particularly our defence and ability to score tries against the Nomads, and our encouraging performance all around in the second half against France,” said Sephaka. “But there are areas we have to work on, which includes converting the pressure on attack into points and improving our scrummaging, so we have hard work ahead in the next two weeks.”
The team will have their World Cup capping ceremony and send-off function on the eve of their departure on July 26 at The Garden Court, Nelson Mandela Boulevard.
Springbok Women’s squad (alphabetical order):
Forwards: Celeste Adonis (Western Province), Nolusindiso Booi (Border), Nomathamsanqa Faleni (Eastern Province), Rachelle Geldenhuys (Blue Bulls), Portia Jonga (Eastern Province), Cebisa Kula (Eastern Province), Thantaswa Macingwana (Border), Lamla Momoti (Border), Nwabisa Ngxatu (Border), Asithandile Ntoyanto (Border), Vuyolwethu Vazi (Blue Bulls), Denita Wentzel (Western Province), Shona-Leah Weston (Blue Bulls), Mandisa Williams (Captain -Border).
Backs: Siviwe Basweni (Border), Lorinda Brown (Eastern Province), Cindy Cant (Blue Bulls), Phumeza Gadu (Eastern Province), Veroeshka Grain (Western Province), Zenay Jordaan (Border), Tayla Kinsey (KwaZulu-Natal), Benele Makwezela (Western Province), Fundiswa Plaatjie (Border), Marithy Pienaar (Blue Bulls), Siphosethu Tshingana (Eastern Province), Ziyanda Tywaleni (Border).
Springbok Women’s 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup fixtures:
Friday, August 1, 15h45: Springbok Women v Australia – Marcoussis
Tuesday, August 5, 20h45: Springbok Women v France – Marcoussis
Saturday, August 9, 17h00: Springbok Women v Wales – Marcoussis
Wednesday, August 13:
14h00 – 10th Seed v 11th Seed – Marcoussis
16h15 – 9th Seed v 12th Seed – Marcoussis
18h30 – 6th Seed v 7th Seed – Marcoussis
15h45 – 5th Seed v 8th Seed – Stade Jean Bouin
Semifinal 1: 18h00 – 2nd Seed v 3rd Seed – Stade Jean Bouin
Semifinal 2: 20h45 – 1st Seed v 4th Seed – Stade Jean Bouin
3rd/4th place playoff:
Sunday, August 17, 16h30 – Stade Jean Bouin
Sunday, August 17, 18h45 – Stade Jean Bouin