The Bok Women’s Sevens will kick off their 2016 season this week with a series of matches against their counterparts from Brazil in Stellenbosch as they build towards trying to reclaim their place on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series this year. Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel and his team returned to their training base in Stellenbosch two weeks ago after the festive season break, and have been working hard to improve their conditioning before the season begins. The team will face the Brazil Women’s Sevens team in matches on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday as part of the visitors’ preparations for the Olympic Games in August this year.
Dazel says: ‘This is a very important season for us, with our main goal being to reclaim our place on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. Unfortunately we did not make the cut during the World Series Qualifier last year and we also received the disappointing news that we would not participate in the Olympic Games. But this is a new season, with new opportunities and challenges and we are looking forward to making our presence felt against quality teams. Brazil will present a tough challenge this week as they have been playing on the Women’s World Series and they will want to kick-start their season on a high note, especially with the thought of hosing the Olympic Games in the back of their minds. These matches, however, are equally important to us, and they will also give us an indication of where we are in terms of the quality of our game. ‘
There are a few new faces in the Springbok Women’s Sevens squad this season with Chané Stadler, who made her Bok Women’s Sevens debut in the Dubai Invitational in December, and Megan Comley from Tuks having joined the squad. Lamla Momoti and Nomsa Mokwai, who also featured in the Dubai tournament, are also currently training with the squad. Veteran Bok Women’s Sevens player Nosiphiwo Goda has left the squad to pursue a different career.
However, she will continue to play rugby for the Border Women’s provincial team. Dazel says: ‘It is disappointing to lose a player of Nosiphiwo’s class and experience, but we wish her luck for the next phase of her life. On a positive note, however, I am pleased to welcome the new players to the squad. They all showed great potential late last season and I have no doubt that they will develop into solid players this season.’
Photo credit: João Neto/Fotojump