Cape Town — Nadine Roos was one of the stars for the Springbok Women’s team in both formats of the Rugby World Cup this year, and now she will hope to make her mark as the captain in this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.
The 26-year-old speedster from Pretoria has been handed the leadership role following an injury to Mathrin Simmers, while another senior figure in Sizophila Solontsi has also been ruled out of the Cape Town Stadium event due to injury.
But Roos is no stranger to standing out on the big stage, having made a significant impact for the Bok Women’s sides at the Sevens World Cup in Cape Town and the 15-player World Cup in New Zealand.
“I don’t think it puts extra pressure on me. I think I am a natural leader within the team. Obviously we are going to miss Mathrin (Simmers) and Sizo’s (Solontsi) leadership roles, but like I said, I have always stepped up when there has been a need to step up,” Roos said.
“I am a natural leader … I speak when I need to speak. I am more a silent type of person and don’t speak a lot in the circle, but I am more someone who leads by example, so that is going to be important for me.
“I have been around the team for a while now, and it is just great playing for them. To lead them at this occasion is really special to me, and I will enjoy the moment.
“But ultimately, it is not about me. We are all in this together, and my main aim will be to make sure every one of us play for the jersey and the teammate next to you.”
The Bok Women face a tough task, though, having gone down 21-10 to Australia A in the Dubai Sevens International Invitational final last weekend, following wins over Japan Development (24-0) and Ireland Invitational (38-0).
There are also six players making their World Series debuts: Kemisetso Baloyi, Jakkie Cilliers, Marlize de Bruin, Felicia Jacobs, Simamkele Namba and Aseza Hele.
SA will take on World Cup and World Series champions Australia on Friday at 1.50pm, with Ireland in the evening (6.37pm) before wrapping up their Pool A fixtures against Spain on Saturday (1.25pm).
“Come Friday afternoon, we will be up against the best team in the world. What a great opportunity that is for us as a group. Every player wants to compete against the best, every coach wants to be tested against the best team, and we will approach that game with that attitude,” SA interim coach Renfred Dazel said.
“We are putting things in place with the eye on the future, and that is as important for this team as it is to do well in front of your home supporters.
“There are a number of tournaments next season, and this tournament will provide our players with a good feeling of the intensity required to be in the top tier of the game.”
Springbok Women’s Sevens Squad
Rights Mkhari, Asisipho Plaatjies, Kemisetso Baloyi, Jakkie Cilliers, Marlize de Bruin, Felicia Jacobs, Anacadia Minnaar, Aseza Hele, Nadine Roos (capt), Snenhlanhla Shozi, Simamkele Namba, Liske Lategan, Lusanda Dumke.
SA Women’s Fixtures
Friday: Australia 1.50pm, Ireland 6.37pm
Saturday: Spain 1.25pm