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Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel said on Thursday his team were bracing themselves for an onslaught in the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens as the team departed for Zimbabwe.

The competition, which the Springbok Women’s Sevens won in 2014, 2011, 2008, 2007 and 2006, will be hosted in Harare on Saturday and Sunday. The South Africans have been drawn in Pool A with hosts Zimbabwe, Namibia and Senegal, while Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar and Tunisia will battle it out in Pool B. The Cup and Plate Finals are scheduled for Sunday.

“Our preparations in the last two weeks have been good and we are excited for the challenge ahead,” said Dazel.“The players had a good off-season and they are determined to pick up where they left off in the Roma Sevens. That said, Kenya recently returned from the Olympic Games and they will look to make their presence felt, and so will the other teams participating in the competition.

“There will certainly be no easy matches, so we have to be switched on from our first match and build momentum throughout the competition. This will be particularly important since we still have to build our match fitness after only getting together as a team two weeks ago.”

With the team taking meeting hosts, Zimbabwe, in their opening game, Dazel said they had to hit the ground running.

“Zimbabwe showed in the Rugby Africa Olympic Qualifier last year that they are a passionate and determined side, and the fact that they will be playing in front of their home crowd will motivate them even more,” said Dazel.

“We expect all the teams to test us, but our focus has to be on ensuring that we implement our game plan and that we capitalise on our opportunities. This tournament will also serve as ideal preparation for the Women’s Sevens Rugby Tournament in Hokkaido in Japan next week.”

Fixtures (Saturday, 17 September):
11h00 – South Africa vs Zimbabwe
12h20 – South Africa vs Senegal
14h40 – South Africa vs Namibia

Springbok Women’s Sevens team for Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens:
Lorinda Brown
Phumeza Gadu
Rachelle Geldenhuys
Veroeshka Grain
Zenay Jordaan
Jacqueline Kriel
Nomsa Mokwai
Lamla Momoti
Marithy Pienaar
Nadine Roos
Mathrin Simmers

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