Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel on Wednesday opted for continuity in selection as his team prepares for the Women’s Sevens World Series Qualifier in Ireland next week, with the only change to his 12-member squad being the return of physical forward Rachelle Geldenhuys. Geldenhuys missed the final leg of the 2014/2015 Women’s World Series in Amsterdam in May after having surgery to her knee and with her rehabilitation completed she returns in the place of Sunelle Barnard. Twelve teams will participate in the World Series Qualifier where they will go head-to-head for two places on the 2015/2016 Women’s World Series, with South Africa going up against hosts Ireland, Hong Kong and Mexico in the pool stages.
The other teams participating in the Qualifier are 2016 Olympic Games hosts Brazil, Wales, Japan, Samoa, China, Netherlands, Kenya and Columbia. New Zealand, Canada, Australia, England, USA, France, Russia, Fiji and Spain have already secured their places as core teams on the World Series for next season. Dazel says: ‘Most of these players have been playing together for a few seasons, and that will be important as we attempt to retain our place on the World Series. Our next two tournaments will be vital because we will be playing for a place on the World Series and in the Olympic Games, so there is a lot at stake for us as a team and for the players as individuals. However, we have been working hard at training since the final leg of the 2014/2015 World Series in the hope of being successful in both tournaments, and it is now up to the players to achieve this on the field.’
The team will depart for Ireland on Sunday, with the tournament taking place on 22 and 23 August at University College in Dublin. The Africa Women’s Olympic Qualifier, meanwhile, will be hosted in Johannesburg on 26 and 27 September.
Springbok Women’s Sevens team for the Women’s World Series Qualifier:
Springbok Women’s Sevens World Series Qualifier fixtures, 22 August:
11:28 – SA vs Hong Kong
14:44 – SA vs Mexico
17:28 – SA vs Ireland
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