Three women’s rugby players from the Eastern Cape – Aseza Hele, Unathi Mali and Akhona Mooi – are amongst a group of 42 players who were invited to the second national women’s training camp as the squad will pick up their preparations for their UK tour in October. The three Eastern Province players will join nine players from Border making twelve representatives from the Eastern Cape. The province with the highest representation is Western Province with fourteen players.
The four-day training camp will take place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) from Thursday, 25 May, to Sunday, 28 May, where the focus will be on measuring the improvement in their fitness levels and fine-tuning their structures. The camp marks the second of the season and follows on another hosted in Cape Town in October last year.
The SA Select Women will travel to the UK on 11 October in what will mark the first national women’s tour since the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, where they will play two matches against the England Academy team and one against the British Army.
The players will have medical and fitness tests on the opening day of the camp, which will be followed by a series of training sessions and a match on Saturday, which will feature the Springbok Women’s Sevens players and a few invitational players. The combined group will be split into two squads, which will face one another.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said this will be a very important camp for the national women’s squad.
“With this being the last training camp before the touring squad gathers in October, it will be important for the players to show that they are familiar with the structures and that they have followed the conditioning programmes given to them earlier in the year,” said Roux.
“Our High Performance department was pleased with the progress shown by the players at last camp in February where the foundations were laid for the team, but we will be expecting them to take another step up at this camp. So we are excited to see what the players have to offer.”
Roux, however, said the door was still open for players to stake a claim for places in the touring squad in the SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial competition, which will run from July until September.
“All of these players will participate in the Women’s Interprovincial competition so we will be able to track their progress at provincial level over the next few months,” said Roux.
“That, however, also means that there is still an opportunity for players who have not been invited to the camps to impress us and possibly play their way into the squad. So there is still hard work ahead for the players to secure a place in the travelling squad of 26 before October.”
Senior Women’s training squad:
- Aseza Hele: Eastern Province – Looseforward
- Unathi Mali: Eastern Province – Fullback
- Akhona Mooi: Eastern Province – Prop
- Nthabiseng Marutla: Blue Bulls – Lock
- Lebathamang Mothumi: Blue Bulls – Lock
- Ntsako Faith Tshauke: Blue Bulls – No 8
- Nolusindiso Booi: Border – Lock
- Liyabona Dudumashe: Border – Prop
- Lusanda Dumke: Border – Looseforward
- Nosiphiwo Goda: Border – Centre
- Thantaswa Macingwane: Border – Prop
- Siphosethu Mgaju: Border – Scrumhalf
- Simamkele Namba: Border – Fullback
- Aphiwe Ngwevu: Border – Centre
- Fundiswa Plaatjie: Border – Scrumhalf
- Makoele Kamohlelo: Free State – No 8
- Mellanie Smith: Free State – Winger
- Abigail Jantjies: Golden Lions – Hooker
- Dludla Karthy: KZN – Lock
- Tayla Kinsey: KZN – Scrumhalf
- Nqobile Mhlangu: KZN – Centre
- Zinhle Ndawonde: KZN – Centre
- Jaime Norton: KZN – Hooker
- Snenhlanhla Shozi: KZN – Fullback
- Randy Nkotswana: Leopards – Centre
- Nokubonga Siko: Leopards – No 8
- Sarah Ramoraswi: Limpopo Blue Bulls – Winger
- Simone Smit: Valke – Winger
- Celeste Adonis: Western Province – Lock
- Kirsten Conrad: Western Province – Flyhalf
- Annique Geswind: Western Province – Hooker
- Amy-Kay Klaasen: Western Province – Lock
- Babalwa Latsha: Western Province – Prop
- Ncediswa Mahijani: Western Province – Lock
- Asanda Majombozi: Western Province – Looseforward
- Vuyolwethu Maqholo: Western Province – Fullback
- Thandile Mazwi: Western Province – Flanker
- Xoliswa Mbobo: Western Province – Winger
- Sinazo Mcatshulwa: Western Province – Looseforward
- Demi Nel: Western Province – Centre
- Alicia Willemse: Western Province – Scrumhalf
- Nomthandazo Thandi Xwethu: Western Province – Hooker
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