Border, SWD kick off women’s interprovincial

FILE PICTURE: Lawrence Sephaka. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Lawrence Sephaka. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Defending women’s interprovincial champions, Border, will kick off the SA Rugby Union (Saru) Women’s Interprovincial competition on Friday against SWD at Outeniqua Park in George.

The players will be determined to use this year’s competition to impress national coach Lawrence Sephaka ahead of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France from August 1 to 17.

A 39-member preliminary World Cup squad was named earlier this year, but the group is set to be trimmed at the conclusion of the interprovincial competition.

A Springbok-laden Border team will begin the series with an away game against SWD in a curtain raiser to the men’s Vodacom Cup clash against Western Province.

In Saturday’s games, KwaZulu-Natal host the Blue Bulls in Durban and Eastern Province take on Western Province in Uitenhage.

In George, Springbok captain Mandisa Williams, Asithandile Ntoyanto and Nolusindiso Booi are among nine Springbok players who will run out against SWD.

Five of the nine were included in the pack, as Border’s forwards will be a key weapon as they look to start the season on a high.

SWD, however, are renowned for their skill and speed out wide, and with talented Springbok fullback Christal Williams serving as a threat at the back, they are expected to put up a good fight.

The clash between KwaZulu-Natal and the Blue Bulls should be equally exciting, as both teams boast solid packs and exciting backs.

Young Springbok Tayla Kinsey will have her work cut out as the last line of defence, especially with the Blue Bulls’ line-up featuring physical and fast backs Shona-Leah Weston and Marlien Cronje.

The Sharks won all four of their round-robin matches last year to advance to the semi-final, and they will be looking to repeat that feat this season.

The Blue Bulls will be equally determined to perform well after failing to advance to the playoff stages last year.

Meanwhile, Western Province will be looking to kick on from an impressive season last year in which they advanced to the final.

With their squad boasting Springbok prop Laurian Johannes, lock Andrea Mentoor and hooker Denita Wentzel, their pack will also be a threat.

They will, however, line up against hosts Eastern Province who will be desperate to make the most of their home-ground advantage following only two victories in four matches last season.

– Sapa




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