SA Rugby chose not to participate in the 2017 Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on Wednesday.
The Springbok Women took part in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups. In the last tournament, they suffered three heavy pool defeats to Australia (26-3), France (55-3) and Wales (35-3). South Africa’s overall Test record currently stands at played 40, won 12 (30%).
SARugbymag.co.za understands that due to these poor results, SA Rugby decided a couple of years ago not to send the Springbok Women to the 2017 World Cup and to instead focus on developing teenage girls.
SA Rugby hopes its Women’s Youth Training Centre programme, which takes place around the country, will develop players who can form a competitive national team when the national women’s 15-a-side programme is relaunched.
The 2017 Women’s World Cup will have 12 teams. Ireland qualified automatically as the host nation, while six teams (England, Canada, France, New Zealand, USA and Australia) qualified automatically as they finished in the top seven at the 2014 tournament. Italy and Wales qualified as the top two teams across the 2015 and 2016 Women’s Six Nations (excluding England, France and Ireland). The remaining three qualifiers (Hong Kong, Spain and Japan) were determined by the end of 2016.
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