Scrumhalf Siphosethu Tshingana could make her Springbok Women’s debut on Sunday in the team’s final Women’s Rugby World Cup clash against Spain after being named on the bench by coach Lawrence Sephaka on Saturday.
Sephaka retained the core of the team that registered a victory against Samoa on Wednesday, with the starting team showing four personnel changes and a few positional switches.
Outside centre Veroeshka Grain, flank Vuyolwethu Vazi, lock Nolusindiso Booi and hooker Thantaswa Macingwana were all named in the starting line-up after starting on the bench against Samoa.
The positional switches, meanwhile, were at fullback where Zandile Nojoko replaces Cindy Cant, flyhalf where Zenay Jordaan switches from outside centre, and lock where Nomaphelo Mayongo switches from No5 to No4.
The loose trio was also reshuffled with Shona-Leah Weston starting at No8 and Lamla Momoti at flank.
Sephaka said the selections for this Test were based on performance throughout the competition, while he also placed a big emphasis on choosing players in their most effective positions.
“Spain are tough contenders and they proved that against Samoa and Kazakhstan, so we have to be at our best to beat them,” said Sephaka.
“One of our main selection was to choose players who have shown solid form throughout the World Cup, while we also tried to select players in positions in which they would be effective against Spain, hence the positional switches. Hopefully this will allow us to deliver a solid performance, so we can finish the tournament strongly.
“We may have failed in our mission to finish in the top eight, but we can still salvage something from this World Cup if we win our last match, as it would guarantee us our best finish in the Women’s Rugby World Cup up to now.”
Sephaka was pleased for Tshingana and said if she made her debut it would be a just reward for her hard work at training and positive attitude throughout the tour.
“Siphosethu has been working hard since the beginning of the tour and she has always remained positive despite having to wait to receive a chance to play,” said Sephaka.
“The competition at scrumhalf is particularly tight with Fundiswa Plaatjie playing fantastic rugby and Tayla Kinsey being a solid back-up, so it would be good to see what Siphosethu could add to the game if she takes to the field.”
Springbok Women’s team to face Spain:
15 – Zandile Nojoko
14 – Siviwe Basweni
13 – Veroeshka Grain
12 – Lorinda Brown
11 – Sinazo Nobele
10 – Zenay Jordaan
9 – Fundiswa Plaatjie
8 – Shona-Leah Weston
7 – Vuyolwethu Vazi
6 – Lamla Momoti
5 – Nolusindiso Booi
4 – Nomaphelo Mayongo
3 – Portia Jonga
2 – Thantaswa Macingwana
1 – Nwabisa Ngxatu
16 – Denita Wentzel
17 – Cebisa Kula
18 – Celeste Adonis
19 – Siphosethu Tshingana
20 – Tayla Kinsey
21 – Cindy Cant
22 – Phumeza Gadu