25 July 2014
Springbok Women’s rugby captain Mandisa Williams on Thursday expressed her excitement about the IRB Women’s World Cup ahead of the tournament’s kick-off in France next week.
The South African team has only two more training sessions scheduled in Cape Town before it departs for Paris on Sunday following a week of high-tempo practices with the coaching staff and the South African Rugby Union’s Mobi-Unit.
The final training session on Friday will involve another training run against the Stellenbosch Academy Under-19 boys team to boost the team’s physicality before the tournament.
In a very tough pool, South Africa’s Rugby World Cup campaign begins on 1 August against Australia, followed by clashes against the hosts and Six Nations champions, France, on 5 August and Wales on 9 August
‘We have worked hard’
“We have worked hard on and off the field since assembling in the World Cup holding camp last Monday, and with the tournament drawing nearer the energy in the team is electric,” Williams said at training on Thursday.
“The players are excited for the challenge ahead after several months of preparation. Of course with excitement the nerves flare up too, as this will be the first Women’s Rugby World Cup for several players in the squad, but this is natural before such a big tournament.”
Williams said with the on-field preparations almost completed, it was important for the players to work on their mental state of mind for the competition so that they are focused on the task at hand when they arrive in France.
“From a game preparation point of view, we have done everything we could to improve the areas of our game that required attention,” she said.
“We have two more field sessions to fine-tune these aspects of our game. But with the World Cup a week away, it is important that we are also prepared mentally, so we will be focusing our attention on getting that right in the next few days.”