February 24, 2024

Four uncapped players for Springbok Women’s Sevens in Dubai

CAPE TOWN – Springbok Women’s Sevens head coach Renfred Dazel has included four players without any HSBC SVNS experience in his squad of 13 players to travel to the series opener in Dubai on Monday.

The Emirates Dubai Sevens is the first of eight tournaments in the revamped HSBC SVNS and will be played at The Sevens Stadium on 2-3 December. The second tournament will be played in Cape Town on 9-10 December.

Kyla de Vries, Libbie Janse van Rensburg, Shiniqwa Lamprecht and Maria Tshiremba will all play on this world stage for the first time, but only Lamprecht, capped at Junior Springbok level, has not played for the Springbok Women’s Sevens before.

De Vries represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and alongside Tshiremba, formed part of the squad that claimed the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Cup in Tunisia last month, which secured qualification to the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

Janse van Rensburg made her debut for the team in the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Stellenbosch earlier this year, where South Africa won both tournaments to claim HSBC SVNS core status.

While their first appearance in Dubai will be debuts for the quartet, both co-captains, Mathrin Simmers and Zintle Mpupha, have played in the World Series before.

Simmers is the most-capped Springbok Women’s Sevens player of all time with 14 tournaments, with Mpupha and current SA Rugby Women’s Player of the Year, Nadine Roos, will both be playing in their seventh World Series event.

“We are low on tournament caps, but only Shiniqwa has not played against the big teams on the circuit, so I am confident that we will embrace this opportunity,” said Dazel.

“We have trained hard over the last couple of months, specifically to be competitive against the top sides. We are determined to finish in the top eight at the end of the series and stay on the circuit.”

The team trained against Belgium in the last two weeks and played in a couple of matches against the Europeans, where Eloise Webb was ruled out of contention for the Dubai and Cape Town tournaments after sustaining an ankle injury.

“It is unfortunate indeed, as she has played at two Rugby World Cups and five tournaments in the series in the past, so we will miss that experience, but that gave Shiniqwa her opportunity,” said Dazel.

“We trained with a good, wider squad and I am thankful for the support received from SA Rugby for being able to do that. We now must go and implement all those training sessions in the matches we will play.”

Simmers said it is now time to build towards the team’s next goal: “We fought hard to get onto the circuit and were proud to achieve that goal of qualifying. The big mission now is to make sure we finish in the top eight and stay on the series automatically.

“It will be a tough assignment, but we are determined to make the best of it. There will be smiles on our faces, because we enjoy massive challenges thrown at us,” added Simmers.

Pool A fixtures (Saturday 2 December – SA times):

07h44: New Zealand

10h43: Fiji

15h13: Great Britain

Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for Dubai:

Forwards

Zintle Mpupha (co-captain)

Liske Lategan

Rights Mkhari

Asisipho Plaatjies

Simamkele Namba

Kyla de Vries

Backs:

Mathrin Simmers (co-captain)

Nadine Roos

Libbie Janse van Rensburg

Marlize de Bruyn

Shiniqwa Lamprecht

Maria Tshiremba

Ayanda Malinga

 

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