DUBAI – For Springbok Women’s Sevens coach, Paul Delport, the performances of his charges at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens Invitational tournament today and tomorrow will be a change in direction when they take on teams from Wales, Kazakhstan and Japan.
Their next objective will be qualifying for the Olympic Games in Japan in 2020 and that journey starts at The Sevens Stadium.
“We lost four starting players to national fifteens duty, so this was as good a time as any to experiment a bit and see what the new players can bring,” said Delport.
Delport selected six newcomers in the squad for the trip, alongside experienced campaigners Marithy Pienaar, Zenay Jordaan, Mathrin Simmers and Nadine Roos.
“One of our aims is to build depth and this is an amazing opportunity for the new players to show that they can compete at this level and environment.”
Delport believes their opponents will provide a stern test in in the desert. “First up is Wales, who are also rebuilding but they beat us the last time we played, and the ladies from Kazakhstan are really strong. Then we will also face one of the two teams the Japanese have sent.
They have just dropped off the World Series, so I am not sure which of their teams we will face, but they have played at a level above us last season, so it will be tough.”
SA fixtures/Results today are:
South Africa 24 - 5 Wales
South Africa 12- 5 Almaty Women RFC
South Africa v Arukas Queen (13:20)
The SA squad is:
1. Courtney Groener, 2. Nokuthla Nene, 3. Buhle Sonamzi, 4. Sizo Solontsi, 5. Zenay Jordaan, 6. Voice Ndou, 7. Eloise Webb, 8. Claudine Marais, 9. Nadine Roos, 10. Mathrin Simmers, 11. Ayanda Malinga, 12. Marithy Pienaar (captain)
African News Agency (ANA)