South Africa Springbok women’s tour squad features seven newcomers eyeing test caps


Seven uncapped players have received the nod for the upcoming Springbok Women’s tour of the United Kingdom and Spain, marking a significant milestone in their rugby careers.

Head coach Louis Koen unveiled the 32-player squad on Monday, showcasing a blend of experience and fresh talent set to embark on a three-week journey.

The inclusion of Xoliswa Khuzwayo, Aliyah Tchogna-Njamen, Samantha Els, Alicia Willemse, Olwethu Kasibe, Anathi Qolo, and Sikholiwe Mdletshe underscores the Springbok Women’s commitment to expanding their player base and fostering new talent.

While some of these players have tasted action in previous warm-up matches or sevens competitions, this tour offers them the opportunity to earn their first Test caps and make their mark on the international stage.

Khuzwayo, Tchogna-Njamen, and Els, who showcased their skills in last season’s pre-WXV 2 warm-up match against the San Clemente Rhinos, will be eager to translate their performances into successful Test debuts.

Meanwhile, Willemse, Kasibe, Qolo, and Mdletshe bring a fresh perspective and youthful energy to the squad, having impressed the coaching staff during alignment camps and regional competitions.

The absence of seasoned players like Babalwa Latsha, Lindelwa Gwala, Danelle Lochner, and Aseza Hele, who are currently competing in the Premiership Women’s Rugby competition, provides an opportunity for the uncapped players to step up and prove their worth.

Nolusindiso Booi, with her wealth of experience, will lead the squad as captain, supported by vice-captains Babalwa Latsha and Tayla Kinsey. Koen expressed his confidence in the new recruits, highlighting their dedication and hard work leading up to the tour.

The tour itinerary includes training sessions against Scotland and Wales, providing invaluable preparation ahead of Test matches against Spain and the USA.

Koen emphasized the significance of facing high-quality opposition as the Springbok Women prepare for upcoming tournaments, including the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup and WXV 2.

With the support of SA Rugby and World Rugby, the Springbok Women are poised to test their mettle against formidable opponents, aiming to elevate their game and achieve their long-term goals.

As they embark on this challenging journey, the uncapped players will seize the opportunity to make a lasting impression and contribute to the team’s success on the international stage.

The Springbok Women tour squad:

Forwards (19):
Sanelisiwe Charlie (Bulls Daisies) – 14 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
Xoliswa Khuzwayo (Mastercard Golden Lions Women) – uncapped
Babalwa Latsha (Harlequins Women) – 27 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Asiza Mkiva (DHL Western Province) – 6 Tests, 0 points
Aliyah Tchogna-Njamen (Mastercard Golden Lions Women) – uncapped
Lindelwa Gwala (Ealing Trailfinders Women) – 27 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Roseline Botes (DHL Western Province) – 15 Tests, 40 points (8 tries)
Micke Gunter (Bulls Daisies) – 8 Tests, 0 points
Nolusindiso Booi (captain, DHL Western Province) – 40 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
Vainah Ubisi (Bulls Daisies) – 9 Tests, 0 points
Samantha Els (unattached) – uncapped
Danelle Lochner (Harlequins Women) – 10 Tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Nomsa Mokwai (DHL Western Province) – 4 Tests, 0 points
Olwethu Kasibe (EP Queens) – uncapped
Sinelitha Noxeke (Bulls Daisies) – 1 Test, 0 points
Sinazo Mcatshulwa (DHL Western Province) – 27 Tests, 45 points (9 tries)
Anathi Qolo (Bulls Daisies) – uncapped
Aseza Hele (Harlequins Women) – 20 Tests, 35 points (7 tries)
Nompumelelo Mathe (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 17 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)

Backs (13):
Rumandi Potgieter (Bulls Daisies) – 13 Tests, 0 points
Tayla Kinsey (Hollywoodbets Sharks Women) – 30 Tests, 48 points (2 tries, 16 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
Alicia Willemse (DHL Western Province) – uncapped
Mary Zulu (Hollywoodbets Sharks Women) – 6 Tests, 2 points (1 conversion)
Byrhandrè Dolf (Bulls Daisies) – 9 Tests, 10 points (2 tries)
Piwokuhle Nyanda (Mastercard Golden Lions Women) – 8 Tests, 0 points
Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border Ladies) – 16 Tests, 35 points (7 tries)
Veroeskha Grain (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 17 Tests, 35 points (7 tries)
Jakkie Cilliers (Bulls Daisies) – 9 Tests, 26 points (2 tries, 5 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
Asiphe Mayaba (DHL Western Province) – 2 Tests, 25 points (5 tries)
Sikholiwe Mdletshe (Free State Women) – uncapped
Macaela Samboya, (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 2 Tests, 5 points (1 try)
Chuma Qawe (Sanlam Boland Dames) – 7 Tests, 0 points.

Louis Koen (Head coach), Laurian Johannes-Haupt, Franzel September (Assistant coaches), Lynne Cantwell (High Performance Manager), Thandiswa Nxomani (Team Manager), Dr. Moshe Magethi (Team Doctor), Lezane Ward, Neda Isaacs (physiotherapists) Naasier Parker (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Zwonaka Mbedzi (Analyst), J.J. Harmse (Media Manager).

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