February 24, 2024

Milestones for Booi and Samoya in Hermanus

CAPE TOWN – Nolusindiso Booi will become the most-capped Springbok Women’s player yet when they take on Samoa in Hermanus on Saturday, while – at the other end of the scale – Maceala Samboya be will making her Test debut for South Africa.

Booi has been named at lock for the clash against Manusina Samoa at Hermanus High School for what will be her 37th Test – passing the 36-cap mark she shared with Zenay Jordaan – while the venue will also hold special memories for wing Samboya, who hails from Malmesbury and represented the Boland Dames in this year’s Women’s Premier Division.

Booi, who started her international career against Kazakhstan in 2010, has captained the Springbok Women 13 times since 2018 and is the only player in the squad that faced Samoa in a Test match before, in 2014 when South Africa won by 25-24 in Paris.

Head coach Louis Koen again named Babalwa Latsha as captain for the match, with the tighthead prop one of 10 players who retain their places in the starting line-up from their 77-12 win over Kenya in Cape Town last month.

There are two changes in the backline. Samboya, who will play on the right wing, will make her first Test start after running out in the recent warm-up matches against the San Clemente Rhinos and Barbarians, while scrumhalf Unam Tose, who played off the bench against Kenya, will swop with Rumandi Potgieter, who will finish the game in Hermanus.

Koen named a new lock pairing to start against the Samoans. Booi and Vainah Ubisi both played off the bench against Kenya, but they now swop jerseys with Sinazo Mcatshulwa and Danelle Lochner, who will both finish the game this time.

In the final change to the starting team, Asithandile Ntoyanto will start at loosehead prop, while Yonela Ngxingolo will earn her 25th cap off the bench.

“This is the first of four Test matches in four weeks, so it was important to make sure that everyone in the group gets enough match time,” said Koen.

“Everyone in the squad of 30 has an important role to play in the WXV tournament, whether it is starting this weekend, coming off the bench or being part of the backbone group not involved in the match.

“We have our plans for this clash against Samoa, who are a very physical side, and the starting team has a specific role to play for us on Saturday.”

Koen congratulated Booi on becoming the most capped Test player for the Springbok Women: “She has an inspirational story and Cindi’s ability to come back from injury so many times is testimony of her will to succeed and her passion for this jersey.

“She is such a strong leader in our group as well and a brilliant example to the younger players about the values and virtues of being a Springbok Women test player.”

The coach said Samboya’s debut in her home province was an added bonus to the 24-year-old, who also works as a sports coach at the Swartland Community Sports Centre in Malmesbury.

“Maceala has impressed from the very first day she joined the squad, and I am really pleased for her,” said Koen. “She did very well in the two warm-up matches against the Rhinos and Barbarians and I believe she is ready for test rugby, despite being fairly new to the game.”

Koen said they are expecting a bruising battle at Hermanus High School on Saturday.

“It is wonderful to be playing at yet another new venue and to bring test rugby to the Hermanus community, where women’s rugby is strong and popular,” said Koen.

“Samoa will be physical and the fact that they also qualified in WXV 2 tells you everything you need to know about their ability. We are also playing them in the last round of that tournament, but this will be an entirely different match.

“We hope we can have a good crowd on the day and that both teams will benefit from this outing, our last before next weekend’s WXV.”

The match kicks off at 15h00 and entrance is free, while the action will also be streamed live on the Official Springboks YouTube channel.

Springbok Women vs Samoa in Hermanus:
15. Byrhandrѐ Dolf – 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)
14. Micaela Samboya – uncapped
13. Jakkie Cilliers – 9 caps, 26 points (2 tries, 5 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
12. Piwokuhle Nyanda – 4 caps, 0 points
11. Veroeshka Grain – 13 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg (vice-captain) – 16 caps, 159 points (7 tries, 47 conversions, 9 penalty goals, 1 drop goal)
9. Unam Tose – 16 caps, 0 points
8. Lusanda Dumke – 24 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
7. Catha Jacobs – 11 caps, 0 points
6. Nompumelelo Mathe – 15 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
5. Vainah Ubisi – 5 caps, 0 points
4. Nolusindiso Booi (vice-captain) – 36 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
3. Babalwa Latsha (captain) – 23 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
2. Roseline Botes – 12 caps, 40 points (8 tries)
1. Asithandile Ntoyanto – 18 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
Replacements:
16. Luchell Hanekom – 1 cap, 0 points
17. Yonela Ngxingolo – 24 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
18. Amber Schonert – 3 caps, 0 points
19. Danelle Lochner – 6 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
20. Sinazo Mcatshulwa – 23 caps, 45 points (9 tries)
21. Rumandi Potgieter – 8 caps, 0 points
22. Unathi Mali – 1 cap, 5 points (1 try)
23. Mary Zulu – 4 caps, 2 points (1 conversion).

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