The Springbok Women have named an unchanged starting XV to battle Fiji for their second Rugby World Cup clash in Auckland on Sunday.
Coach Stanley Raubenheimer made only one change to the bench, with sevens forward Lerato Makua replacing Catha Jacobs, who played in their 40-5 defeat to France in the tournament opener at Eden Park.
“Everyone came out of the French opener unscathed, which was really good news for us as it meant we could go with the same group again against Fiji,” said Raubenheimer.
“The players have now experienced the intensity of this Rugby World Cup and showed that they are improving with every Test.
“We again had a slow start due to all the nervous energy and we hope that this time, the same team will be calmer and more focused in those opening minutes.
“The pack of forwards had some nice momentum and showed against France that they can compete with any of the top sides. We want that momentum to continue.”
On Makua’s inclusion, Raubenheimer added: “We were looking for a little more speed and mobility and Lerato will give us that, especially in the second half when we hope to attack a bit more.
“We are hoping to tire Fiji out in the first hour and then attack with players such as Lerato, Lusanda Dumke, Roseline Botes and Zenay Jordaan coming on.
“Catha has done nothing wrong, but she is a more physical player, so we opted for Lerato, who is faster, more mobile and better suited to our plan in the second half.”
Springbok Women – 15 Nadine Roos, 14 Nomawethu Mabenge, 13 Zintle Mpupha, 12 Aphiwe Ngwevu, 11 Simamkele Namba, 10 Libbie Janse van Rensburg, 9 Tayla Kinsey, 8 Aseza Hele, 7 Sinazo Mcatshulwa, 6 Sizophila Solontsi, 5 Rights Mkhari, 4 Nolusindiso Booi (c), 3 Babalwa Latsha, 2 Lindelwa Gwala, 1 Sanelisiwe Charlie.
Subs: 16 Roseline Botes, 17 Asithandile Ntoyanto, 18 Monica Mazibukwana, 19 Lerato Makua, 20 Lusanda Dumke, 21 Unam Tose, 22 Zenay Jordaan, 23 Eloise Webb.