THE South African Sevens women’s rugby team enjoyed a lively first phase of their training camp at Victoria Park High School yesterday.
The 16-member squad are preparing for the upcoming IRB Sevens World Cup, which will be held in the Russian capital, Moscow, later this month.
Coach Denver Wannies said: “The weather in Port Elizabeth favours our preparations. We’ve also invited former Springbok captain Rassie Erasmus, who is Saru general manager of high performance teams to come down and help us.”
Wannies said the players were in good shape and were further strengthened by two uncapped players in Blue Bulls back Vuyolwethu Vazi and Eastern Province lock Nomathamsanqa Faleni.
He was expecting injured key players Shona-Lean Weston and Sinazo Nobele, who are both nursing shoulder injuries, to join the team by next week.
“Seven team members in the current squad played in the last 2009 Sevens Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dubai.
“The team’s preparation for the World Cup in Moscow also serves as a build up to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.”
Wannies said the squad had warm-up matches this week against the rugby first teams of Victoria Park High and Uitenhage’s Muir College.
“The girls did a fantastic job but were lacking speed compared with the boys. The current squad will be cut to the final 12 players at our second training phase in Johannesburg next week,” he said.
SA women’s team captain Mandisa Williams said the team was ready to tackle the world. They will face Ireland in their opening match on June 29, and then China and defending champions Australia.