Former Springbok winger Jongi Nokwe will coach a young SA Select Women’s Sevens team at the Hokkaido Invitational Sevens in Japan on Saturday and Sunday as regular coach Renfred Dazel prepares his team for the Rugby World Cup Sevens Qualifier in Tunisia on 16 and 17 September.
The development tournament features 12 teams, eight of which are local Japanese clubs, and one each from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
Nokwe, who occupies the role as the Western Province Women’s assistant coach, will guide the side featuring mainly SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial and Youth Training Centre players, while Springbok Sevens players Marithy Pienaar, Nomsa Mokwai and Kirsten Conrad will offer guidance and experience in the squad.
The SA Select Women’s Sevens finished third in the Hokkaido Invitational Sevens in September last year after going down to Waikato of New Zealand in the semi-final.
Nokwe was excited about the opportunity to guide the team and said: “We have a young and exciting team, and for some of the players it is the first time they travel overseas, so it is an exciting experience for the whole squad.”The SA Select Women’s Sevens assembled in Stellenbosch on Monday and departed for Japan on Tuesday.
With limited time to prepare for the competition, Nokwe said it was vital for the players to gel as quickly as possible in order to get their campaign off to a good start.
“We know very little about the teams participating in the tournament, so it is vital for us to focus on our game and ensure that we implement our structures effectively,” said Nokwe.
“This requires that we gel quickly both on and off the field, and I am pleased with the progress made in that regard since we assembled.”
SA Select Women’s Sevens squad for the Hokkaido Invitational:
Felicia Jacobs – Western Province
Alana-Lee Horne – Western Province
Bianca Meyer – Blue Bulls
Shaunique Hess – Western Province
Kirsten Conrad – Western Province
Sinazo Mcatshulwa – Western Province
Nellodene de Wee – Griquas
Kimico Manuel – Golden Lions
Shaylin Simons – Western Province
Shuneez van Heerden – Leopards
Marithy Pienaar – Contracted SA Rugby player
Nomsa Mokwai – Contracted SA Rugby player