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Experienced Springbok Women Team to Tackle Final African Hurdle

Springbok Women head coach Louis Koen recalled three vastly experienced players to his starting team to face Madagascar in Sunday’s final match of the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, to be played at Stade Makis in Antananarivo in Madagascar, on Sunday, 12 May, 2024.

The clash between the hosts and the defending champions will not only determine who will leave the tournament as champions of Africa, but will also confirm entry to next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

Tour Diary: Tournament and Opening Match Preview

Koen included Lindelwa Gwala and Sanelisiwe Charlie in the front row of the Springbok Women pack and named Veroeshka Grain on the wing for the most important match of the tournament. Gwala and Charlie both started in the opening match of the previous Rugby World Cup, played in New Zealand.

In fact, seven members of the starting pack have played at the global showpiece in 2022, with only lock Vainah Ubisi not being part of the previous RWC campaign.

Amongst the backs, only Sikholiwe Mdletshe does not have double figures in test caps, with the Bloemfontein-based wing celebrating her Test debut on Wednesday with two tries against Kenya.

Grain comes in for Nomawethu Mabenge on the right wing, while Charlie swops shirts with Xoliswa Khuzwayo, who started against Kenya, but will play off the bench this time.

Tour Diary: Opening Match Review

Gwala replaces Roseline Botes in the only other change to the pack that started against Kenya. Botes picked up a shoulder strain in that match and will not be involved against Madagascar.

Amber Schonert will fill the position of replacement hooker on the bench, with Asithandile Ntoyanto joining her among the replacements as tight head cover.

Tour Diary: Second Match Preview

In another change to the bench, again with a split of six forwards and two backs, Chuma Qawe will take over from Piwokuhle Nyanda as the utility back. Nyanda fell ill after the Kenya match and could not train with the team since.

Koen said the victories over Cameroon and Kenya provided some momentum and confidence, but he feels that Madagascar will provide their toughest challenge yet.

Tour Diary: Second Match Review

“I think our team selection reflects the fact that we respect our opponents and kept with roughly the same group that played against Kenya, bar the injuries.” Said Koen.

“We have tried to spread the load among the group over the first two games, in order to have a team that is relatively fresh for the final game. We managed to do that, and we are good to give it our best.”

SA Women’s Rugby Premiere League Week 5 Preview

The match, which is scheduled to kick off at 2:00 PM (SA time) on Sunday afternoon, will be broadcast live by SuperSport, SA Rugby’s YouTube channel, Rugby Africa’s Facebook page and RugbyPass.tv.

Head-to-Head: Springbok Women vs Madagascar

13/08/2019 in Brakpan: SA won 73-0
28/05/2023 in Antananarivo: SA won 79-8

Springbok Women Team to Face Madagascar

15. Byrhandrè Dolf (Bulls Daisies) – 13 Tests, 15 points (3 tries)
14. Veroeshka Grain (Sanlam Boland Women) – 20 Tests, 40 points (8 tries)
13. Jakkie Cilliers (Bulls Daisies) – 12 Tests, 52 points (5 tries, 9 conversions, 3 penalty goals)
12. Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border Ladies) – 20 Tests, 40 points (8 tries)
11. Sikholiwe Mdletshe (Free State Women) – 1 test, 10 points (2 tries)
10. Mary Zulu (Sharks Women) – 10 Tests, 14 points (7 conversions)
9. Tayla Kinsey (Sharks Women) – 34 Tests, 48 ​​points (2 tries, 16 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
8. Sizophila Solontsi (Bulls Daisies) – 20 Tests, 40 points (8 tries)
7. Sinazo Mcatshulwa (DHL Western Province) – 30 Tests, 45 points (9 tries)
6. Lusanda Dumke (Bulls Daisies) – 30 Tests, 40 points (8 tries)
5. Vainah Ubisi (Bulls Daisies) – 13 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
4. Nolusindiso Booi (captain, DHL Western Province) – 44 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
3. Azisa Mkiva (DHL Western Province) – 8 Tests, 0 points
2. Lindelwa Gwala (Ealing Trailfinders Women) – 31 Tests, 60 points (12 tries)
1. Sanelisiwe Charlie (Bulls Daisies) – 18 Tests, 5 points (1 try)

Replacements:

16. Amber Schonert (Sale Sharks Women) – 5 Tests, 0 points
17. Xoliswa Khuzwayo (Golden Lions Women) – 4 Tests, 0 points
18. Asithandile Ntoyanto (Bulls Daisies) – 21 Tests, 15 points (3 tries)
19. Nomsa Mokwai (DHL Western Province) – 7 Tests, 0 points
20. Nompumelelo Mathe (Sanlam Boland Women) – 19 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
21. Anathi Qolo (Bulls Daisies) – 3 Tests, 0 points
22. Rumandi Potgieter (Bulls Daisies) – 15 Tests, 0 points
23. Chuma Qawe (Sanlam Boland Women) – 10 Tests, 0 points


Original Copy: SA Rugby, with editing by gsport

Photo Caption: The Bok Women pictured in celebration after their win against Kenya on Wednesday. Springbok Women head coach Louis Koen has recalled three vastly experienced players to his starting team to face Madagascar in Sunday’s final match of the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, to be played at Stade Makis in Antananarivo in Madagascar, on 12 May, 2024. Photo: SA Rugby

Image Caption: The Starting XV for the Bok Women’s match against Kenya. Image: WomenBoks on Instagram