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Dazel happy with Rugby Africa Sevens build-up

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Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel was pleased with the outcomes achieved at last week’s training camp in Potchefstroom and says it will guide them in the lead-up to next month’s Rugby Africa Sevens, which doubles up as the Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifier.

Dazel and his team spent seven days in Potchefstroom, where they worked on their structures and played friendly matches against the Pukke (Potchefstroom University) and the Leopards in preparation for the tournament in Tunisia on 16-17 September.

‘Our training camp was very good and it was satisfying to be able to play matches again,’ said Dazel. ‘We wanted to try a few new things on attack and defence, which we have been working on since returning from the HSBC Women’s World Series Qualifier in Hong Kong in April, and the matches offered us that opportunity.

‘We also took two new players to the camp, Zinhle Ndawonde from KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Province’s Shaunique Hess, while the players who are studying (Eloise Webb, Nadine Roos and Rights Mkhari) were also able to join us.

‘As with any matches, we picked up a few things in these games that we have to work on, but we are pleased with the outcomes achieved.’

Unfortunately for Dazel, there are a few injury concerns in the squad. Nomsa Mokwai is expected to return to training in two weeks’ time due an Achilles injury, while Marithy Pienaar will miss the Rugby Africa Sevens after having surgery to her hip.

Given Kenya’s steady improvement in the last few years and the fact that they participated in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Dazel expects his team to face a tough test in Tunisia, where they will enter the tournament as the defending champions.

‘We know what we still have to do in terms of our preparation, and we will work on that,’ said Dazel.

‘It’s vital that we are well-prepared because Kenya, who have been our toughest competition in Africa in the last few seasons, would have drawn a lot from their experience at the Olympic Games, while they also have a series of provincial tournaments on the go in the country, which will boost their match fitness and physicality.

‘So it is going to be a tough competition, but we know what we have to do to be successful.’

Picture of sevens player Phumeza Gadu courtesy of SA Rugby/Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images


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