SA Select Women’s coach Renfred Dazel on Tuesday announced his 12-member squad for the Hong Kong Invitational Sevens tournament on March 28, with the group featuring several experienced players a few new faces.
Vuyolwethu Vazi and Jacqueline Kriel will tour with the SA Select team for the first time, while the tournament will also mark a significant occasion for experienced campaigner Zenay Jordaan, who has been handed the captaincy.
The squad includes seven players who featured in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow, including Jordaan, Phumeza Gadu, Veroeshka Grain and Mathrin Simmers.
Vice-captain Marithy Pienaar and Nomsa Mokwai, who earned their first call-ups to the Sevens squad in November last year for the Dubai International Invitational, meanwhile, were among seven players who participated in the event, which marked the team’s last international tournament.
“It is always tough selecting only 12 players, and this time it was particularly difficult because all 16 players in the Elite Sevens squad in Port Elizabeth have worked hard in the last few months to play their way into the team,” said coach Renfred Dazel. “But I have selected the best possible mix of players, which I believe will make their presence felt.
“This tournament is significant in many ways because it will not only set the tone for the season, and especially the IRB Women’s World Sevens Series leg in Amsterdam in May, it will also offer us an opportunity to face 2016 Rio Olympic Games hosts Brazil. This will certainly inspire the women to become a force to be reckoned with as one of our main objectives in the next two seasons is to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
The SA Select side will face Brazil and Papua New Guinea in the round-robin stages of the Hong Kong Invitational, which features a total of 12 teams. Canada, Ireland, China and Japan are among the other teams participating in the event.
The squad will depart for Hong Kong on Wednesday March 26.
SA Select Women’s squad (in alphabetical order):
1. Lorinda Brown Eastern Province
2. Phumeza Gadu Eastern Province
3. Veroeshka Grain Western Province
4. Nosiphiwo Goda Border
5. Zenay Jordaan (captain) Eastern Province
6. Jacqueline Kriel Blue Bulls
7. Nomaphelo Mayongo Kwa-Zulu Natal
8. Nomsa Mokwai Leopards
9. Marithy Pienaar (vice-captain) Blue Bulls
10. Fundiswa Plaatjie Border
11. Mathrin Simmers SWD
12. Vuyolwethu Vazi Blue Bulls