CAPE TOWN – Springbok Women head coach Louis Koen tweaked the midfield and loose trio combinations of his match day squad for their final WXV 2 clash against Samoa at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Friday, while also bringing in Rights Mkhari as replacement.
The match kicks off at 16h30 and is a must win for both teams, as the loser will be relegated to WXV 3 next season.
With Aseza Hele suspended and Tayla Kinsey and Luchell Hanekom ruled out due to injury following last Friday’s match against Italy, Koen opted to call Mkhari into the squad from Springbok Women’s Sevens duty.
With Catha Jacobs starting in Hele’s place at No 8, Mkhari, a utility forward with 12 caps to her name, will start on the bench.
Unam Tose moves from the bench to start in Kinsey’s place at scrumhalf, with Rumandi Potgieter moving onto the bench as finishing scrumhalf.
Roseline Botes replaces Hanekom on the bench, while Lindelwa Gwala will add experience to the starting pack with her 25 Test caps. She replaces Micke Gunter at hooker.
In the backline, Koen also swopped Shaunique Hess and Veroeshka Grain around, with Hess moving to outside centre and Grain to wing. Unathi Mali and Chuma Qawe also swop jerseys, with Mali starting and Qawe playing off the bench.
Koen said he opted for Mkhari as she was part of the Africa Cup squad earlier this year and is familiar with the team structure.
She was co-captain of the Springbok Women’s Sevens team and showed good form as they won the African title earlier this month and qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“Rights is one of those players earmarked for dual international duty and I want to thank coach Renfred Dazel for releasing her to us for this match,” said Koen.
“We are playing against a formidable opponent in Samoa and will need all the experience we can get. Rights brings good experience and athletic ability to the squad.
“This is our final match and opportunity to test ourselves against top class opponents and we want to conclude the inaugural WXV 2 with a solid performance.”
Springbok Women v Samoa in Cape Town:
15. Byrhandrè Dolf
14. Veroeshka Grain
13. Shaunique Hess
12. Piwokuhle Nyanda
11. Unathi Mali
10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg (vice-captain)
9. Unam Tose
8. Catha Jacobs
7. Sinazo Mcatshulwa
6. Lusanda Dumke
5. Danelle Lochner
4. Nolusindiso Booi (vice-captain)
3. Babalwa Latsha (captain)
2. Lindelwa Gwala
1. Sanelisiwe Charlie.
16. Roseline Botes
17. Asithandile Ntoyanto
18. Yonela Ngxingolo
19. Vainah Ubisi
20. Rights Mkhari
21. Nompumelelo Mathe
22. Rumandi Potgieter
23. Chuma Qawe.