The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has announced a senior SA Women’s squad of 28 players to their first three-day training camp of the year next week in Port Elizabeth.
This get together will kick-start the SA Women’s preparations for the Nations Cup tournament to be held in August in Canada.
The training squad will meet from 20 to 22 May at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University and the first assembly will largely focus on fitness, conditioning and medical testing of the players.
Amongst the large group there are several new faces who were invited to train with the senior squad for the first time, such as Dineo Rammutla (Limpopo, prop), Nobele Sinazo (Border, wing), Nwabisa Ngatu (Border, hooker) and Janine Felix (Western Province, centre).
Natasha Hoffmeester (scrumhalf), a former SA Women’s Player of the Year, makes a welcome return to the squad after missing the bulk of last season, including the Women’s World Cup tournament in England, due to a foot injury.
Another familiar face is that of Blue Bulls flanker Izan Niewoudt, who played for South Africa at the 2006 World Cup.
Denver Wannies, recently appointed for a second term as SA Women’s coach, said the focus for this year will be to increase the depth of the senior squad.
“Dineo, Nobele, Nwabisa and Janine are all young players who will benefit from their involvement with the core group of players who played for us in World Cup last year. We will also add another four youngsters who are currently training with the U20 squad.
“There are some notable omissions, such as Ncebisa Kula, Saloma Booysen and Lorinda Brown, but they will have enough chances to force their way back into contention,” explained Wannies.
Apart from the upcoming Nations Cup, the team will also take part in the Sevens World Cup Qualifying tournament during October in Botswana. Wannies also confirmed that the South Africa women will be in action at the Dubai Sevens in November after SARU has accepted an invitation to take part in the popular event.
The following senior women have been invited to attend a Training Camp from 20 – 22 May in Port Elizabeth:
Izan Nieuwoudt, Pulane Motloung, Yolanda Meiring, Dineo Rammulta (Blue Bulls); Mandisa Williams, Fundiswa Plaatjie, Ziyanda Tywaleni, Nolusindiswe Booi, Nwabisa Ngatu, Nobele Sinazo (Border); Daphne Scheepers, Donna Sidumbu, Lamla Momoti, Zandile Nojoko, Phumeza Gadu, Zenay Jordaan, Charmaine Kayser, Nomathamsanqa Faleni (Eastern Province); Nombulelo Mayongo (Griffons); Dolly Mavumengwana, Lusanda Mtiya (KwaZulu-Natal); Natasha Hofmeester, Nosipho Poswa, Aimee Barrett, Cherne Roberts, Nedene Botha, Laurian Johannes, Janine Felix (Western Province).
Meanwhile, the SA U20 squad will continue their preparations in PE from today for the upcoming U20 Nations Cup in the USA. The squad of 29 players will be reduced to 25 next month before the team’s departure to Santa Barbara.