The Springbok Women will depart on Sunday for the Women’s Rugby World Cup with high hopes of achieving their best finish in the international spectacle following months of preparation and specialist skills training.
The team will depart for France via Johannesburg at 18h50.
The World Cup, which will be hosted in Marcoussis outside of Paris, will mark the Springbok Women’s third successive tournament.
They have been drawn in a pool with Australia, hosts and Six Nations champions France and Wales. The team’s participation in the tournament was made possible by a R2,3m grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
“We have been working very hard in the last few months on our conditioning, technique and our game plan and I am pleased to see the level at which the team is now,” said Springbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka.
“We are also pleased that the players had the opportunity to test themselves against the Nomads and France on the warm-up tour, so I am satisfied with our preparation. It is now time for the players to show us what they are capable of against quality opposition.”
However, given the Springbok Women’s tough pool and the team’s previous results in the World Cup – they finished 12th in the 2006 World Cup and 10th in the 2010 World Cup – Sephaka said their main goal as a team was to record their best finish yet in the tournament.
“Ideally we would like to advance to the playoff stages of the Women’s World Cup,” said Sephaka. “But we have to be realistic about our expectations as we have been drawn in a tough pool and we do not play as often as many other teams participating in the competition because women’s rugby is still developing steadily in South Africa.
But we believe in our abilities and we have no doubt that we have made significant progress as a team since the 2010 World Cup, so the most important thing for us is to show that in our performances and hopefully see the results in our position at the conclusion of the tournament.”
The team’s first two pool matches against Australia and France will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1, and the final pool game against Wales can be viewed on live streaming on www.rwcwomens.com
Springbok Women’s 2014 WRWC fixtures:
Friday, August 1, 15h45: Springbok Women v Australia – Marcoussis
Tuesday, August 5, 20h45: Springbok Women v France – Marcoussis
Saturday, August 9, 17h00: Springbok Women v Wales – Marcoussis
Wednesday, August 13:
14h00 - 10th Seed v 11th Seed - Marcoussis
16h15 - 9th Seed v 12th Seed - Marcoussis
18h30 - 6th Seed v 7th Seed - Marcoussis
15h45 - 5th Seed v 8th Seed - Stade Jean Bouin
18h00 - 2nd Seed v 3rd Seed – Stade Jean Bouin
20h45 - 1st Seed v 4th Seed – Stade Jean Bouin
3rd/4th place playoff:
Sunday, August 17:16h30 – Stade Jean Bouin
Sunday, August 17, 18h45 – Stade Jean Bouin