Challenge of Kiwis is exciting, says Mathrin Simmers
It will be their first time back on the circuit since 2017, when they played in Dubai, and for their reintroduction, they’ve been drawn in Pool A alongside New Zealand, Fiji and Russia.
The South Africans will kick off their Cape Town campaign on Friday afternoon in the last women’s game of Day One against reigning World Sevens Series champions, New Zealand, who got the best possible start to their title defence by winning the Dubai leg last week.
And while that opposition is as tough as they come, Simmers said they’re looking forward to seeing how they measure up against one of the leading teams in women’s Sevens.
Fiji and Russia are also core teams on the circuit, while South Africa last held that status in 2015.
“We’re actually excited about the pool we’re in, just to see where we are as a team.
“I can’t even remember the last time we played on the World Series, so just getting to see where we’re at will be good,” Simmers said.
“There aren’t any weak teams, everybody is good, so rather now than meeting them in the play-offs.”
When it comes to objectives, Simmers highlighted the two most important boxes they want to tick at the Cape Town Stadium: “The most important thing for us is to play a good brand of rugby. We are targeting one or two teams, so we want to get the results as well,” she said.
“The girls are very excited. We’ve worked hard until now and I think it’s going to be really amazing playing at home. There are going to be some nerves, but I think we’re ready for it.”
As is always the case, playing at home sure comes with its benefits, but it also comes with added pressure.
Add in the fact that a number of your players are a bit on the greener side, and some tasks become even tougher.
“There’s more pressure when you play at home, but with that also comes excitement. Our families never really see us play, so for them to see it live will also be amazing.
“I think it’s very important that the more experienced players just keep the newer girls calm, so we don’t want to give them too many roles, we’d rather take the pressure on ourselves.”