World Rugby’s announcement on Tuesday of a world women’s season was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Springbok Women at their Stellenbosch base, where the training squad was increased to 40 players as their preparations shifted to top gear.
And with local interprovincial competition set to return to the calendar this year, after falling last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Springbok’s female coach Stanley Raubenheimer had reason to smile, especially with the new World Rugby 2023 world schedule set to super load the women’s game.
The world season, which is expected to feature three competitions – WXV1, WVX2 and WXV3 – was launched with the aim of increasing opportunities for competition, publicity and fan engagement, while simultaneously increasing the competitiveness of women’s football.
Springbok Women could be in line to qualify for WVX2 as one of the best teams in Oceana, Asia and Africa, or WXV3 as the winner of a play-off between an African team. and South American.
“We have seen with our other women’s national teams such as Proteas cricket and netball teams, as well as Banyana Banyana (SA women’s football team) that the more they play, the more they improve.”
Raubenheimer praised the Protea Women for taking an unassailable three-to-one lead in the five-game one-day international series against India on Sunday.
“We would like to congratulate the Proteas on their series victory in India,” said Raubenheimer.
“They have shown great progress in recent years and besides being very proud of their performances, they have come to show once again that with regular competition the sky is the limit which is another reason for which we are really looking forward to World Rugby. new plans. “
Raubenheimer also welcomed 16 other players to Springbok women’s training camp in Stellenbosch. A 24-player squad gathered at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in early January, and the squad was increased to 40 players last weekend.
Much to Raubenheimer’s delight, the players immediately got down to work on the pitch Monday and Tuesday, and with the SA interprovincial women’s rugby competition set to take place in the coming months, the coach was delighted to ” step up contact training.
“The goals for us at this point are to assess new players from a conditioning point of view, to get a bit of game practice and to see how the whole squad gel,” said Raubenheimer.
“The playing time will be in the form of contact sessions on Wednesday (March 17), Monday (March 22) and Friday (March 26), which are important since the players have not played for almost a year and a half. now.
“Obviously we expect a bit of rust, but it will be good to work in contact and continuity, as well as to implement some of the things that we have worked on in training.
“It will also allow us to reintroduce female players into rugby, and we hope that will put them in good stead for the Women’s Premier League and Division One.
Additional Members of the Springbok Women’s Team (in alphabetical order):
Roseline Botes (Hooker, Western Province)
Kirsten Conrad (Flyhalf, Western Province)
Edwaline Dickson (No 8, Blue Bulls – loaned by SWD)
Karthy Dludla (lock, KwaZulu-Natal)
Annique Geswind (Hooker, Western Province)
Veroeshka Grain (Wing, Western Province)
Felicia Jacobs (Scrumhalf, Western Province)
Ayanda Malinga (Wing, Blue Bulls – on loan from Lions)
Vuyolwethu Maqholo (Rear, Western Province)
Nqobile Mhlangu (Wing, KwaZulu-Natal)
Phelisa Mrwebi (Flank, Eastern Province)
Sesethu Mtshazi (Center, Western Province)
Zinhle Ndawonde (Center, KwaZulu-Natal)
Chumisa Qawe (center, border)
Buhlebethu Sonamzi (Hooker, Eastern Province)
Alida Strydom (Lock, Boland)