Springbok Women’s captain Mandisa Williams on Thursday said her team was excited about the Women’s Rugby World Cup starting in France next week as they begin concluding their preparations for the tournament at home.
The team will have two more training sessions in Cape Town before departing for Paris on Sunday following a week of high-tempo practices with the coaching staff and the SARU Mobi-Unit.
The final training session on Friday will involve another training run against the Stellenbosch Academy Under-19 boys team to boost the team’s physicality before the tournament.
The team will begin their Rugby World Cup campaign on August 1 against Australia, which will be followed by clashes against hosts and Six Nations champions, France, on August 5 and Wales on August 9 in the pool stages.
“We have worked hard on and off the field since assembling in the World Cup holding camp last Monday and with the tournament drawing nearer the energy in the team is electric,” said Williams. “The players are excited for the challenge ahead after several months of preparation. Of course with excitement the nerves flare up too as this will be the first Women’s Rugby World Cup for several players in the squad, but this is natural before such a big tournament.”
Williams said with the on-field preparations almost completed, it was important for the players to work on their mental state of mind for the competition in order to be switched on from the time they arrive in France.
“From a game preparation point of view we have done everything we could to improve the areas of our game that required attention,” said Williams. “We have two more field sessions to fine-tune these aspects of our game. But with the World Cup a week away, it is important that we are also prepared mentally. So we will be focussing our attention on getting that right in the next few days.”
The Springbok Women will depart for France on Sunday via Johannesburg