The squad, which will be in camp from 6 to 20 August, includes six capped 2014 Rugby World Cup players, namely Springbok Women’s captain Nolusindiso Booi (lock), Veroeshka Grain (wing), Zenay Jordaan (flyhalf), Tayla Kinsey (scrumhalf), Asithandile Ntoyanto (prop) and Thantaswa Macingwane (hooker).
The newcomers to Raubenheimer’s squad are Alichia Arries, Simamkele Namba (both wings), Jacomiena Cillers (centre), Libbie Janse van Rensburg (flyhalf), Rumandi Potgieter (scrumhalf), Donelle Snyders (fullback), Micke Gunter (hooker), Lerato Makua (lock), Ziyanda Ngohlekana (flank), Buhlebethu Sonamzi, Monica Mazibukwana (both hookers) and Amahle Nyoba (prop).
Janse van Rensburg was a key figure for the Blue Bulls Women during the Premier Division competition, showing her class as the top points scorer with 71 points – 17 points clear of her closest competitor – while DHL Western Province’s Snyders was one of the top try scorers during the competition.
“We are delighted to be able to name a squad of this quality for our second training camp this year in preparation for the Rugby World Cup which will be hosted in New Zealand next year,” said Raubenheimer.
“We kept a close eye on the players’ performances in the Women’s Premier and First Division competitions and we were immensely impressed by the quality of rugby on offer, and by the sensational performances by a number of individuals.
“Several of these newcomers have shown their class consistently since the competition kicked off and we are excited to see how they’ll respond in the national set-up as we build toward next year’s spectacle.”
A few regular Springbok Women’s players were ruled out of contention due to injuries, including Babalwa Latsha (prop), Aseza Hele (No 8), Karthy Dludla (flank) and Chuma Qawe (fullback). However, Raubenheimer was excited to give a few young aspiring players an opportunity to experience being in the national set-up.
“Unfortunately, a few players suffered injuries during the season which ruled them out of the squad and then of course there were others who were unlucky not to be selected,” he said.
“But a few new players will receive an opportunity and we are excited to see what they can offer the national team.”
SA Rugby High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby, Lynne Cantwell, said the objective of the camp would be to continue laying the foundations for the World Cup. They also planned a few hit-outs to build on the strides made between their first camp and the conclusion of the provincial competitions, with the rescheduled First Division final taking place on Saturday.
“This is the first time the national training squad will be together after several weeks of provincial rugby, and we are delighted that some emerging talent has been identified,” said Cantwell.
“This camp is important to assess where the players are from a medical and physical point of view, and on the pitch, we’ll be focusing on some new systems and using the time to focus formally on the Rugby World Cup.”
Cantwell said match simulation would play an equally important role as they continue to build to the international extravaganza next year and said: “We would like to play matches during this camp, and if we do not face an opposition team, we will have two or three internal games perhaps against boys’ teams from the Western Cape.
“The players will then return to their provinces and the intention later on is to travel to the UK in November. We haven’t confirmed a schedule yet, but we’re hoping to play some internationals to try to get an understanding of the level at which the team is as we look ahead to the World Cup,” she added.
The Springbok Women will face France in the opening RWC match at Eden Park in Auckland on 8 October 2022 (kick-off at 14h15 NZ time; 03h15 SA time), before lining up against tournament debutants Fiji at Waitakere Stadium on Sunday, 16 October (17h45 NZ time; 06h45 SA time), and England in Whangārei on Sunday, 23 October (17h45 NZ time; 06h45 SA time) in the pool stages of the competition.
Springbok Women’s Rugby World Cup preparation camp squad:
Alichia Arries (wing, DHL Western Province)
Nolusindiso Booi (lock, DHL Western Province)
Sanelisiwe Charlie (prop, EP Queens)
Jacomina Cilliers (centre, Leopards)
Lusanda Dumke (loose forward, Border Ladies)
Veroeshka Grain (wing, DHL Western Province)
Lindelwa Gwala (hooker, Cell C Sharks Women)
Micke Gunter (hooker, Cell C Sharks Women)
Catharina Jacobs (utility forward, Blue Bulls Women)
Libbie Janse van Rensburg (flyhalf, Blue Bulls Women)
Zenay Jordaan (flyhalf, EP Queens)
Tayla Kinsey (scrumhalf, Cell C Sharks Women)
Nomawethu Mabenge (wing, EP Queens)
Thantaswa Macingwane (hooker, Blue Bulls Women)
Lerato Makua (lock, Blue Bulls Women)
Ayanda Malinga (wing, Blue Bulls Women)
Nompumelelo Mathe (utility forward, Cell C Sharks Women)
Monica Mazibukwana (hooker, EP Queens)
Sinazo Mcatshulwa (loose forward, DHL Western Province)
Rights Mkhari (lock, Blue Bulls Women)
Zintle Mpupha (centre, DHL Western Province)
Simamkele Namba (wing, DHL Western Province)
Ziyanda Ngohlekana (loose forward, SWD)
Aphiwe Ngwevu (centre, Boland Dames)
Yonela Ngxingolo (prop, Border Ladies)
Asithandile Ntoyanto (prop, Border Ladies)
Amahle Nyoba (prop, EP Queens)
Rumandi Potgieter (scrumhalf, Blue Bulls Women)
Chumisa Qawe (centre, DHL Western Province)
Donelle Snyders (fullback, DHL Western Province)
Sizophila Solontsi (loose forward, Cell C Sharks Women)
Buhlebethu Sonamzi (hooker, EP Queens)
Bernice Strydom (lock, Boland Dames)
Unam Tose (scrumhalf, Border Ladies)
Eloise Webb (fullback, Boland Dames)