CARDIFF – Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer made three changes to his starting team for South Africa’s first Test in four years when they face Wales at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.
Several players are in line to make their Test debuts in the Welsh capital in what will be the team’s first Test since the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Two of the changes were injury-enforced as winger Alana-Lee Horne (ankle) and centre Aphiwe Ngwevu (knock to the arm) are recovering from injuries, which resulted in Snenhlanhla Shozi and Demi Nel being drafted into the starting team.
The other change was at scrumhalf, where Tayla Kinsey takes over from Fundiswa Plaatjie in a positional switch.
Only five players in the match-day squad are capped Springbok Women’s 15-a-side players, namely captain Nolusindiso Booi, Thantaswa Macingwane, Kinsey, Nosiphiwo Goda, Charmaine Kayser and Plaatjie.
“Continuity in selection is important,” said Raubenheimer. “It will definitely help to enter the match with a number of established player combinations, especially given how big this occasion is for the team. The squad are in good shape, and I am pleased with our preparation this week.
“Overall there is a positive vibe within the squad, and we are really looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”
Raubenheimer said he is expecting a big onslaught from Wales.
“They are a regular Test-playing nation, so we are expecting them to be very strong at set piece time, while they also have good ball-carriers among their forwards,” he said.
“Our focus is on our structures and what we would like to do in the game. We need to do the basics very well, and if we can retain possession and use it positively, I think we will give ourselves an opportunity to be successful.”
The match kicks off at kicks off 1.30pm SA time.
The Springbok Women’s team to face Wales is:
15 Vuyolwethu Maqholo, 14 Nosiphiwo Goda, 13 Demi Nel, 12 Zinhle Ndawonde, 11 Snenhlanhla Shozi, 10 Zintle Mpupha, 9 Tayla Kinsey, 8 Aseza Hele, 7 Sinazo Mcatshulwa, 6 Lusanda Dumke, 5 Nolusindiso Booi (captain), 4 Bernice Strydom, 3 Babalwa Latsha, 2 Annique Geswind, 1 Thantaswa Macingwane.
Replacements: 16 Lindelwa Gwala, 17 Yonela Ngxingolo, 18 Katlego Moremi, 19 Karthy Dludla, 20 Charmaine Kayser, 21 Felicia Jacobs, 22 Fundiswa Plaatjie, 23 Kirsten Conrad.
African News Agency (ANA)