The Springbok Sevens Women’s team will face two of the top five teams in the current Women’s Sevens World Series standings at the Amsterdam Sevens tournament, due to be played at the National Rugby Centrum in the Dutch capital on May 17 and 18.
The South Africans (seventh), who fly to the Netherlands on Sunday, are pooled with England (second), Canada (fifth) and France (14th) in pool B of the fourth and last tournament of the inaugural Women Sevens World Series.
To mark its debut year, the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournament will be held in conjunction with the famous Amsterdam Rugby Sevens event.
For Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Denver Wannies though, the fanfare of the social tournament, in its 42nd year and attracting hundreds of former internationals and teams from around the world, will mean little as he is focussed very much on a polished performance by his team.
South Africa surprised many in the opening tournament of the series by making it all the way to the Dubai final, but had a less productive outing in Houston in their other appearance in the series.
“Ideally, I would have liked to take 14 players to Amsterdam and give all equal playing time and conduct a final trail ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow,” said Wannies.
“Obviously this is not possible, so I am expecting a good all-round performance from the team despite the tough pool we find ourselves in.”
There are 15 players in the national training squad, but only 12 will be going to Amsterdam.
“I am happy that the 12 players selected are those in form and best conditioned for a tournament of this nature. We have lost Senazo Nobele with a knee injury, but the others are all ready to go.”
The Springbok Women’s Sevens team is: Mandisa Williams (Border, captain), Nosiphiwo Goda (Border), Benele Makwazela (Western Province), Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province), Yolanda Meiring (Blue Bulls), Lorinda Brown (Eastern Province), Natasha Hofmeester (Western Province), Shona-Leah Weston (Blue Bulls), Nomaphelo Mayongo (KwaZulu-Natal), Mathrin Simmers (South Western Districts), Phumeza Gadu (Eastern Province), Veroeshka Grain (Western Province).
Coach: Denver Wannies
Manager: Orna Prinsloo
Physiotherapist: Tanushree Pillay
Conditioning Coach: Denzil van Heerden
Technical Analyst: Renfred Dazel