Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer named a squad of 30 players for the two Test series against Japan later this month, which include the recently-capped Azisa Mkiva and Nokubonga Siko after both players made their international debuts against Namibia in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in June.
Nolusindiso Booi will lead the squad, which also see the return of Rights Mkhari and Chumisa Qawe from injury, but Eloise Webb, Catha Jacobs and Jakkie Cilliers all miss out as they are currently following rehabilitation programmes.
Luchell Hanekom is the only player in the group not to have donned the green and gold, while Rumandi Potgieter and Monica Mazibukwana are yet to make their Test debuts, but both played against the England U20s and the Barbarians on the UK tour last November.
The squad will convene at the HPC in Pretoria tomorrow and train there until July 19, when they fly out to Japan. The Tests are scheduled for July 24 in the Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium in Iwate, and on July 30 in Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Saitama, in what will be the first tour of South Africa’s national women’s side to Japan.
Raubenheimer said the pre-tour camp will be used to further work on the progression of their game plan, as well as paying attention to detail on certain areas of their game.
The main purpose of holding the camp will not be to re-invent anything — we did well in the matches against Zimbabwe and Namibia — and would like to continue with those processes that brought the results and bonded the team.
“The trip to Japan will obviously bring different obstacles like long travels and time zone changes and an opponent that is higher than us on the world ranking, but those challenges we will meet when we are confronted by them.
“For now, the camp is about getting back together and find that good rhythm we had earlier this month in Cape Town.”
Springbok Women squad:
Backs: Nadine Roos — 4 Tests, 15 points (three tries); Ayanda Malinga — 6 Tests, 30 points (six tries); Nomawethu Mabenge — 6 Tests, 20 points (four tries); Simamkele Namba — 2 Tests, 20 points (four tries); Zintle Mphupa — 11 Tests, 86 points (16 tries, 3 conversions); Chumisa Qawe — 6 Tests, 5 points (one try); Aphiwe Ngwevu — 9 Tests, 35 points (7 tries); Zenay Jordaan — 31 Tests, 79 points (10 tries, 10 conversions, 3 penalty goals); Libbie Janse van Rensburg — 6 Tests, 56 points (4 tries, 18 conversions); Tayla Kinsey — 19 Tests, 44 points (2 tries, 14 conversions, 2 penalty goals); Rumandi Potgieter — upcapped; Unam Tose — 7 Tests, 0 points.
Forwards: Aseza Hele — 9 Tests, 25 points (5 tries); Sizophila Solontsi — 10 Tests, 25 points (5 tries); Nokubonga Siko — 1 Test, 0 points; Lusanda Dumke — 12 Tests, 20 points (4 tries); Sinazo Mcatshulwa — 12 Tests, 30 points (6 tries); Nompumelelo Mathe — 7 Tests, 10 points (2 tries); Rights Mkhari — 5 Tests, 35 points (7 tries); Lerato Makua — 2 Tests, 0 points; Nolusindiso Booi — 27 Tests, 10 points (2 tries), captain; Babalwa Latsha — 13 Tests, 10 points (2 tries); Azisa Mkiva — 1 Test, 0 points; Yonela Ngxingolo — 14 Tests, 5 points (1 try); Monica Mazibukwana — uncapped; Asithandile Ntoyanto — 9 Tests, 10 points (2 tries); Sanelisiwe Charlie — 2 Tests, 0 points; Lindelwa Gwala — 14 Tests, 10 points (2 tries); Micke Gunter — 1 Test, 0 points; Luchell Hanekom — uncapped.