Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer assembled a squad featuring 11 international players in Stellenbosch as the team kick off their preparations on Sunday for their first round of Test matches since the 2014 Women’s Rugby Cup.
Included in the 32-member squad are four players from the 2014 showpiece, Nolusindiso Booi, Tayla Kinsey, Fundiswa Plaatjie and Thantaswa Macingwana, while seven capped Springbok Women’s Sevens players, Kirsten Conrad, Nosiphiso Goda, Babalwa Latsha, Zintle Mpupha, Zinhle Ndawonde, Snenhlanhla Shozi and Eloise Webb, were also included.
The squad – which will be reduced to 28 players before their departure to Europe on 30 October – will face the UK Armed Forces in London on Friday, 2 November, Wales at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, 10 November, Spain in Villajoyosa on Saturday, 17 November, and Italy in Prato on Sunday, 25 November.
Several players who were members of the SA Select Women’s squad that faced the British Army and the England Academy team on a three-match tour to the UK in October last year were also included.
Raubenheimer said the focus in the first few days of the camp would be to get the squad to gel on and off the field and to put the necessary structures in place.
“The most important aspects from the outset would be to develop a good rapport with the players, and to work on the basics on the training field,” said Raubenheimer.
“We only have a few days to prepare for the tour, so it is important that we are able to implement the basic aspects of the game very well by the time we play our first game.
“Fortunately we will face the British Armed Forces first, which will be a good start to the tour as it will allow us to build some momentum before the first Test.”
Raubenheimer added: “This tour will serve as a good yardstick to measure where we are after a few seasons out of the international arena, so while although it is a big occasion for the squad, it is important that the players enjoy their rugby as well.”
Springbok Women’s squad (in alphabetical order):
- Nolusindiso Booi (lock), Western Province
- Kirsten Conrad (flyhalf), Western Province
- Karthy Dludla (lock), KZN
- Lusanda Dumke (flanker), Border
- Annique Geswind (hooker), Western Province
- Nosiphiwo Goda (winger), Border
- Lindelwa Gwala (hooker), KZN
- Aseza Hele (flanker), Eastern Province
- Alana-Lee Horne (utility back), Western Province
- Felicia Jacobs (scrumhalf), Western Province
- Charmaine Kayser (No 8), Western Province
- Tayla Kinsey (scrumhalf), KZN
- Babalwa Latsha (prop), Western Province
- Thantaswa Macingwana (hooker), Blue Bulls
- Kamohele Makoele (flanker), Free State
- Ayanda Malinga (winger), Pumas
- Nthabiseng Marutla (lock), Blue Bulls
- Vuyolwethu Maqholo (utility back), Western Province
- Sinazo Mcatshulwa (flanker), Western Province
- Pennbry McNamara (hooker), Golden Lions
- Katlego Moremi (prop), Blue Bulls
- Zintle Mpupha (flyhalf), SA Rugby
- Lihle Mzimkulu (flanker), Western Province
- Zinhle Ndawonde (centre), KZN
- Demi Nel (centre), Western Province
- Aphiwe Ngwevu (centre), Border
- Yonela Ngxingolo (prop), Border
- Siyanda Pikoli (lock), Eastern Province
- Fundiswa Plaatjie (scrumhalf), Border
- Snenhlanhla Shozi (fullback), Border
- Bernice Strydom (lock), Free State
- Eloise Webb (fullback), Border
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