PRATO, ITALY – The Springbok Women’s team will be bolstered by the presence of experienced captain Nolusindiso Booi when they take to the field in their final tour match against Italy on Sunday, after the skipper recovered from a knee injury.
The return of Booi to the starting line-up is one of three personnel changes to coach Stanley Raubenheimer’s team, with the others being the inclusion of Booi’s original lock partner Bernice Strydom, who is promoted from the bench after recovering from a knee niggle, and Katlego Moremi coming in at tighthead prop.
Moremi replaces Thantaswa Macingwane in the front row, with the latter being named among the replacements. As a result of this change Babalwa Latsha moves to loosehead prop. The other positional switch sees Sinazo Mcatshulwa move from lock to flanker.
Snenhlanhla Shozi, meanwhile, has been named on the bench after completing the return to play protocol following a concussion suffered against Wales.
Raubenheimer named six forwards among the replacements for the clash at Enrico Chersoni Stadium in Prato and explained the decision saying: “We opted for a six-two forward split on the bench because we believe if we can dominate the set pieces, we will give ourselves an opportunity to win.
“We need good quality first-phase ball from which we can attack, and the set pieces are key in that regard.”
Commenting on the match, Raubenheimer said: “The most important thing for me going into this Test is to see us improve on our last performance. If we can do one or two things better than last week against Spain, we could work our way into a position to win.
“The team has a deep desire to win, and they are very focused on that.”
“We will enter the Italy match with the mind-set that we have to win," said Goda. "We could've won our last two matches if we used our opportunities, so we have the ability to win this match if we stick to our structures and round off our point-scoring chances.” @Springboks pic.twitter.com/s2rOQD6tJp— Springbok Women (@WomenBoks) November 22, 2018
On Italy, Raubenheimer said: “What makes Italy different from other teams we have faced is that they are more expansive in their approach. They enjoy throwing the ball around, so we need to be sharp on defence.”
The Springbok women’s team is:
15 Vuyolwethu Maqholo, 14 Nosiphiwo Goda, 13 Zintle Mpupha, 12 Demi Nel , 11 Alana-Lee Horne, 10 Kirsten Conrad, 9 Tayla Kinsey, 8 Aseza Hele, 7 Sinazo Mcatshulwa, 6 Lusanda Dumke, 5 Nolusindiso Booi (captain), 4 Bernice Strydom, 3 Katlego Moremi, 2 Lindelwa Gwala, 1 Babalwa Latsha.
16 Annique Geswind, 17 Thantaswa Macingwane, 18 Nthabiseng Marutla, 19 Karthy Dludla, 20 Charmaine Kayser, 21 Pennbry McNamara, 22 Fundiswa Plaatjie, 23 Snenhlanhla Shozi.
African News Agency (ANA)