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Springbok women 7s turn eye on World Series spot

South Africa’s Felicia Jacobs in action during their women’s play-off for seventh against Sri Lanka at Coventry Stadium on day three of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

FILE - South Africa’s Felicia Jacobs in action during their women’s play-off for seventh against Sri Lanka at Coventry Stadium on day three of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire/BackpagePix

Published Aug 5, 2022


Cape Town — The Springbok Women’s Sevens team, who finished seventh at the Commonwealth Games, have learnt a lot from their experiences in Birmingham, and it’s something that will stand them in good stead as they prepare for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.

The Series will take place from August 12-14 in Santiago, Chile, where the South Africans will have a shot at qualifying as a core team on the World Rugby Sevens Series.

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Paul Delport’s squad returned from England on Wednesday after finishing one place better than they did at the last Games in Australia in 2018, which also marked the first time the women’s side competed at the event.

They defeated Sri Lanka in the seventh-place play-off at the Coventry Stadium, with seven players in the squad making their international debut.

Delport included the core of the players that travelled to the Commonwealth Games, but added four more who will make their debuts in the green and gold.

“We had some unfortunate injuries and that is never nice, especially as we had such a short turn-around from England to now go to Chile,” said Delport.

“The four (new) players were in the loop all along and on our radar and part of a wider group for some time. The fact that there are a number of other players from the Blue Bulls will help, as they have played together already and know each other.

“We are under no illusions about this trip, it is going to be taxing travelling and we will need to find our feet quickly with limited preparation time.

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“One thing that gives me comfort, especially from this senior core group, is that they will fight till the very end and there is nothing more a coach can ask for. We finished the Commonwealth Games on a really positive note and will try and take that energy and momentum into the Challenger tournament.”

On their Commonwealth Games experience, Delport added: “It was massive for the players to see how professionals prepare and perform on the big stage. That is how we are going to learn, by being part of this high performance environment,” said Delport.

The World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, introduced in 2020 for the first time, returns in Santiago, Chile next weekend following a one-year break due to the pandemic.

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The Springbok Women’s Sevens team will participate in Pool D alongside hosts Chile, China and Kenya.

Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for Chile (*uncapped).

1. Donelle Snyders, 2. Liske Lategan, 3. Kemisetso Baloyi, 4. Kirsten Eastes*, 5. Nolwazi Hlabangane*, 6. Felicia Jacobs, 7. Mathrin Simmers, 8. Miche Pretorius*, 9. Nontuthuko Shongwe, 10. Marlize de Bruin*, 11. Zindile Masuku, 12. Unathi Mali

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