Springbok Women’s Sevens back Eloise Webb says the decision to remain at home during the Dubai Sevens will serve the team well during this weekend’s tournament in Cape Town.
The Imbokodo, as they are nicknamed, have been hard at work at their base in Stellenbosch over the last couple of months and backline player Eloise Webb believes that will benefit them when they face New Zealand, Russia and Fiji in pool play.
Webb has played in two World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments (nine matches) and represented her country at the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens. She has experienced the pace and tempo of the top tier and said they have worked hard to be able to live with that.
‘We prepared well,’ said Webb, who is from East London and has played provincial netball and cricket as well.
‘The decision not to go and play in Dubai last weekend was a good one, as we don’t have a big squad and there was the risk of injuries. Everyone is healthy and ready to go.’
“…it’s going to be such a great honour to be walking on the field and doing what we love.”
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) December 12, 2019
The players understand that they can introduce themselves to South Africa when they play in front of their home crowd this weekend.
‘We train just as hard as the men and put in the same hours, so in that regard it is rewarding to be able to play here.
‘We are very excited. As a spectator, it was already something special to be here at this tournament, so I cannot wait to experience that vibe and energy coming from the crowd while actually playing. I know the other women in our squad feel the same.
‘We have some set plays that we worked on and I feel confident that we can get things going. We are playing the best team in the world first up, so the challenge will be massive, but that is why athletes train as hard as they do – you want to be able to compete against the best.’
The Imbokodo open their campaign against New Zealand at 3.50pm on Friday. The two teams have played against each other five times before and the Springbok Women’s Sevens is yet to beat their opponents. They last met in Dubai in 2017, with New Zealand winning 40-0.
The team made their Sevens Series debut in 2012 and have played in 12 tournaments, winning 11 of their 63 games and drawing twice.
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