Zintle Mpupha will resume her duties as Springbok Women’s Sevens captain when they travel to France next week for invitational tournaments in Paris and Nancy.
Mpupha captained South Africa in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in July last year, but missed their next trip – the Dubai International Invitational tournament in November – due to her involvement with the Springbok Women’s team in 15s.
Women’s Sevens coach Paul Delport also included Zinhle Ndawonde and Snenhlanhla Shozi in the squad to travel on Sunday. The duo went to San Francisco last July, and like Mpupha, missed the trip to Dubai because of their national 15s duties.
Delport also called on regulars such as Rights Mkhari, Christelene Steinobel, Buhle Sonomzi, Mathrin Simmers, Sizophila Solontsi, Zenay Jordaan, Nadine Roos and Eloise Webb for this trip, which is part of the squad’s preparations towards the African qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
‘We have the core of our squad all available for this trip which will be a good hit-out for us,’ Delport said. ‘We have been working hard in recent months, and it is always good to get tournament experience under the belt, as that type of pressure will test us and make us improve to where we need to be.
‘We played against Brazil and Zimbabwe in recent months and all went well. Brazil qualified for the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series last month by winning the qualifying tournament in Hong Kong, and Zimbabwe won a regional tournament in their own country, so judging by our performances against them, we have an idea of what standard we are at.’
Springbok Women’s Sevens Squad – Rights Mkhari, Christelene Steinhobel, Buhle Sonomzi, Snazo Mcatshulwa, Sizophila Solontsi, Catha Jacobs, Zinhle Ndawonde, Mathrin Simmers, Zenay Jordaan, Nadine Roos, Eloise Webb, Kelly van der Berg, Snenhlanhla Shozi, Zintle Mpupha (c).
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images