Springbok Women aiming high in France

28 July 2014

The Springbok Women’s Rugby team departed from Johannesburg on Sunday, bound for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, with high hopes of achieving their best ever finish in the international spectacle following months of preparation and specialist skills training.

The World Cup, which will be hosted in Marcoussis outside of Paris, will mark the third successive appearance in the tournament for the South African national women’s team.

They have been drawn in a very challenging pool that also includes Australia, hosts and Six Nations champions France and Wales.

‘Pleased’

“We have been working very hard in the last few months on our conditioning, technique and our game plan and I am pleased to see the level at which the team is now,” Springbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka said in a statement.

“We are also pleased that the players had the opportunity to test themselves against the Nomads and France on the warm-up tour, so I am satisfied with our preparation. It is now time for the players to show us what they are capable of against quality opposition.”

However, given the Springbok Women’s tough pool and the team’s previous results in the World Cup – they finished 12th in the 2006 World Cup and 10th in the 2010 World Cup – Sephaka said their main goal was to record their best finish yet in the tournament.

‘A tough pool’

“Ideally we would like to advance to the playoff stages of the Women’s World Cup,” he explained, “but we have to be realistic about our expectations as we have been drawn in a tough pool and we do not play as often as many other teams participating in the competition because women’s rugby is still developing steadily in South Africa.

“But we believe in our abilities and we have no doubt that we have made significant progress as a team since the 2010 World Cup, so the most important thing for us is to show that in our performances and hopefully see the results in our position at the conclusion of the tournament.”

Television broadcast

The team’s first two pool matches against Australia and France will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 on DSTV. Their final pool game against Wales can be viewed on live streaming on the IRB Women’s World Cup website www.rwcwomens.com

A R2.3-million grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund made the Springbok Women’s Rugby team’s participation in the tournament possible.

Springbok Women’s 2014 WRWC Pool Fixtures

  • Friday, 1 Aug: SA vs Australia, Marcoussis
  • Tuesday, 5 Aug: SA vs France, Marcoussis
  • Saturday, 9 Aug: SA vs Wales, Marcoussis

SAinfo reporter