An expanded 14-member Springbok Women’s Sevens side has been named for the final legs of the Women’s World Series in England next weekend and the Netherlands on 22-23 May.
Coach Renfred Dazel announced that Zaandre Theron and Nosiphiwo Goda, who featured in the Atlanta Sevens in March, were the two additions to the squad that travelled to Canada last month to provide depth as the team faces the prospect of back-to-back tournaments for the first time.
Dazel will, however, will announce a final squad of 12 players to participate in the England Sevens next week following their arrival in London.
South Africa will face hosts England, Canada and Russia in the pool stages in London, which is expected to present another challenging task for Bok Women’s Sevens captain Zenay Jordaan and her charges.
‘We would have liked to take along two young players to experience a World Series event first-hand, but with the risk of injuries being high as we are playing two tournaments in a row, it was important to opt for experience and form,’ said Dazel. ‘Zaandre returned to the Springbok Sevens set-up for the first time since 2012 at the Atlanta Sevens and she made a good impression with her g runs and never-say-die attitude, while Nosiphiwo has been a stalwart for us, so it is good to welcome them back. Given the competition for places in the squad it will be tough to select only 12 players for each tournament.’
With the team facing another tough pool draw, Dazel said they would have to be at their best to make their presence felt. But he said they were determined to prove that their quality of play has improved since the beginning of the season.
‘The players have been working hard at training since we reassembled last week and they are in a good frame of mind going into the last two tournaments, so hopefully they can transfer that onto the field,’ said Dazel. ‘We were pleased with the strides we made on attack and defence in Canada and we would like to build on that in London and Amsterdam. But this will require being ready for the challenge both mentally and physically. That said there are only two tournaments left on the circuit and we would like to finish the season on a competitive note, so we will give everything we have on the field.’
The squad leave for London on Sunday.
The full squad is: Sunelle Barnard, Lorinda Brown, Kirsten Conrad, Phumeza Gadu, Rachelle Geldenhuys, Nosiphiwo Goda, Veroeshka Grain, Zenay Jordaan (captain), Jacqueline Kriel, Sinazo Nobele, Marithy Pienaar, Fundiswa Plaatjie, Mathrin Simmers, Zaandre Theron
SA’s fixtures (reflecting SA one hour ahead of London):
14.50 – England vs SA
17.12 – Canada vs SA
19.56 – Russia vs SA
Source : South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee