THE SA Select Women’s team plan to set the Dubai International Sevens Invitational rugby tournament on fire over the next three days.
Three Eastern Province stars – Zenay Jordaan, Daphne Scheepers and Phumeza Gadu – have been named in the team that will face Belgium, the West Coast Vikings, Tuks Ladies and the Moscow Region teams in the round-robin stages from tomorrow until Saturday.
With the second round featuring only semifinals and the final, Springbok women’s sevens coach Renfred Dazel has targeted a top-two finish in their pool to keep alive their title hopes.
The tournament will serve as Dazel’s first assignment as the new national women’s sevens coach, and it will also mark the first overseas tour for a handful of players.
“We are excited to be in Dubai and grateful for this opportunity to measure where we are as a team,” Dazel said.
“We have been training hard for the last two months, so it is now up to the women to implement that which we have worked on against settled teams.
“There will be nerves among some of the players, especially those who are on their first overseas tour, but fortunately we have a solid core of senior players who can guide them.”
Dazel said given the fact that there were no quarterfinals, the team had to finish either first or second in their pool to advance to the final stages, but he was optimistic they could achieve that.
“If we play to our potential I believe we can finish as the best- placed team in our pool, but the women realise they will have to work hard to achieve this.”
The only injury concern in the camp was Rachelle Geldenhuys, who suffered a hamstring injury early last week. However, she was cleared to travel with the team after passing a fitness test on Friday.
SA Select Women’s Sevens team: Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province), Marithy Pienaar (Blue Bulls), Veroeshka Grain (Western Province), Ntombifuthi Sibiloane (Pumas), Rachelle Geldenhuys (Golden Lions), Daphne Scheepers (EP), Mathrin Simmers (SWD), Nomaphelo Mayongo (KwaZulu-Natal), Phumeza Gadu (EP), Nicolene Mokwai (Leopards), Siviwe Basweni (Border). Reserves: Fundiswa Plaatjie (Border), Nosiphiwo Goda (Border).