The SA Select Women’s Sevens elite squad will meet teams from Border and Eastern Province in a warm-up tournament at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on Saturday as part of their preparation for the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens invitational on March 28.
One team from Border and two from Eastern Province will participate in the series of matches, which SA Select Women’s coach Renfred Dazel hopes would determine how much progress his squad has made since the Dubai International Invitational last November.
A fourth match will be played against a combined team from the two Eastern Cape provinces.
These matches will mark the players’ only competitive hit-out before the Hong Kong Invitational where they will face 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil and Papua New Guinea in the pool round.
“There are a few things we would like to achieve on Saturday, the most important of which is to gain clarity on player combinations and to measure the progress we have made in the various areas of our game,” said Dazel.
“All 16 players in the elite squad will receive the opportunity to prove their worth on Saturday. Ultimately I would like to be in a position to select a starting line-up for the opening Hong Kong match at the conclusion of these games.
“Another important objective will be to get an idea of the quality of our rugby, as there are only three weeks remaining before the Honk Kong Invitational. I believe this is the perfect time to test ourselves under pressure,” Dazel explained.
The 15 contracted Springbok Women’s Sevens players, among them 2013 Springbok Women’s Achiever Zenay Jordaan, will all participate in the series of matches.
SA Select Women’s squad:
Nicolene Barendse, SWD; Siviwe Basweni, Border; Lorinda Brown, Eastern Province; Phumeza Gadu, Eastern Province; Rachelle Geldenhuys, Golden Lions; Nosiphiwo Goda, Border; Veroeshka Grain, Western Province; Zenay Jordaan, Eastern Province; Jacqueline Kriel, Blue Bulls; Nomaphelo Mayongo, KwaZulu-Natal; Nomsa Mokwai, Leopards; Marithy Pienaar, Blue Bulls; Fundiswa Plaatjie, Border; Mathrin Simmers, SWD; Voyulwethu Vazi, Blue Bulls.