SA Women’s Sevens coach aims high

24 October 2013

Newly appointed Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel has set high standards for his team following his appointment three weeks ago, with qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games a top priority.

The coach, who boasts extensive international Sevens experience after being part of the Springbok squad that won the HSBC World Sevens Series title in the 2008/2009 season and 32 HSBC World Sevens Series tournaments in total, succeeds Denver Wannies.

Dazel, a former Boland Cavaliers player, travelled with the Women’s squad to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June and assisted the 15-a-side Women’s national team as a technical analyst in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup qualifier against Uganda in September, which South Africa won 63-3 to qualify for next year’s global showcase.

First assignment

His first assignment as the head coach will be to guide a South African Select team at the International Invitational Sevens tournament in Dubai from 28 to 30 November, where they will compete against university and international invitational teams.

Dazel and his squad, which includes a mix of regular Sevens stars and a few new faces, have been hard at training at their base in Port Elizabeth for the last three weeks. However, the players will be released to their provinces on Friday to prepare for the South African Rugby Union Interprovincial Sevens tournament, which will be held in Kimberley on 1 and 2 November.

Commenting on his appointment, Dazel said: “I have always aspired to coach a national team, so it is an honour to receive this opportunity.

‘I relish a good challenge’

“There was an element of surprise when the announcement was made because I didn’t expect it to happen so soon, but I relish a good challenge and I am delighted to work with this talented group of players.”

While Dazel has no doubts about the skills and determination within the squad, he said improving the conditioning and physicality of the players would be among his main goals going forward.

“Good conditioning will be one of the key focus areas for us because it is important that the ladies are at the required fitness levels and have the necessary physicality to match that,” he explained.

“Obviously we will also work on skills, but having worked with the team for a few weeks already I am pleased with the talent we have in the group and their commitment to ensuring that the Women’s Sevens team becomes a strong force.”

SAinfo reporter