Johannesburg – The Rugby Cup will get real for the Springbok Women when they have their first taste of action this Saturday in a warm-up match against Scotland.
It will be the first hit-out for both teams and according to Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer, the friendly outing will be a perfect kick-start to their campaign, which explodes into action next Saturday against France in Pool C of the tournament.
“This match is our final preparation for the Rugby Cup,” Raubenheimer explained. “I met Bryan Easson (Scotland’s head coach) in May when we attended a Rugby workshop, and we became good friends. We have been in regular contact ever since and this match was confirmed during one of those chats.
“We need this hit-out before we take on France. It is important that the players implement the plan we have for France in this game. Scotland will come up with one or two ‘French’ plays as well, so we need to be alert and adaptable to that.”
Raubenheimer said there will not be any holding back for fear of injury.
“You can’t play rugby if you fear injuries as it is part of the game, it is a contact sport, so I am expecting everyone to give it a 100 percent out there,” the coach said.
“The players are in a good space. We have a happy and fit squad of 32 players raring to go and I am keen to see how they implement our plans tomorrow.”
Raubenheimer said the starting team for France has been settled for some time: “I don’t want the players to be surprised or anxious about the French game, so we laid out our plans to them in Cape Town before we left and everyone is on board with that.
“My expectation for this game is to get the team used to the conditions on this side and game ready. The surface here is quite different from what we are used to at home, it is softer and much more slippery. So hopefully we get a good feel of that and the players get confidence playing with these underfoot conditions,” he added.