Springbok Women Sevens captain Zenay Jordaan on Tuesday said the Dubai IRB Sevens World Series next month would serve as a yardstick for her team to measure themselves against their competitors as they prepare for their debut season on the circuit. The team made history in September by qualifying as one of the core teams on the World Series circuit for the first time. Making this achievement particularly significant is the fact that the top four teams on the log standings at the end of next season will qualify automatically for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The Springbok Women Sevens have been training at their new base in Stellenbosch for the last month, and with their fitness levels having improved steadily and the focus in the camp switching from conditioning to working on their structures, Jordaan was pleased with their preparation, “The atmosphere in the camp is very positive and we are beginning to feel like a unit, which is a sign that things are coming together nicely. There is no doubt that it will be a challenging season, but we have received immense support as a team and we are working very hard at training, so we are determined to make our presence felt. The Dubai tournament, in particular, will serve as an opportunity to measure ourselves against the other teams, so we will have a good idea of our strengths and weaknesses at the conclusion of the tournament.” Jordaan admitted that while qualifying for the Olympic Games was their long-term goal, she said their immediate focus was on performing well in Dubai and building on that in the remaining five tournaments next season.
“Our approach to the World Series is to take each match and tournament in our stride and hopefully the rest will take care of itself. If we were to concentrate on the end goal first we could complicate matters for ourselves, so we need to be constructive in our approach. In Dubai our opening pool game is against Australia who were the runners up last season, and they are experienced at this level, which makes it important to take it one game at a time,” the skipper said. The Springbok Women Sevens have been drawn in a pool with Australia, Spain and France for the Dubai World Series on December 4 and 5. Coach Renfred Dazel is expected to finalise his 12-member touring squad for the tournament next week.