Delport includes five new players in Commonwealth Games training squad

Springbok Women’s Sevens coach, Paul Delport, has invited five new players to the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport for their first Commonwealth Games camp, from 19 to 24 June in preparation for the showpiece in Birmingham, England at the end of July.

The Blue Bulls Women duo of Kyla de Vries and Nontuthuko Shongwe, SWD’s Faith Gosling and Zandile Masuku, and Boland’s Luleka Tyibilika are all new to the group, while Kemisetso Baloyi (Blue Bulls) and Bianca Augustyn (Maties) were involved in camps earlier this year.

Only two players, Mathrin Simmers and Unathi Mali, remain from the previous Commonwealth Games squad, in Australia in 2018, while Anacadia Minnaar, Liske Lategan, Asisipho Plaatjies, Donelle Snyders, Snenhlanhla Shozi and Alichia Arries, who will have to undergo fitness tests at the camp, all played at the recent HSBC France Sevens in Toulouse.

“We have a good core of players who have competed in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series quite recently, so we have a fair idea of what to expect next month,” said Delport.

“That is why this camp will be very important, as we are not on the same level as the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Fiji – all teams we will compete against – and we need to get the new players aligned and up to speed as soon as possible.

“The players we called into camp were either on our radar after recent local tournaments where we played against them, or, in the case of Kyla de Vries and Nontuthuko Shongwe, who did very well in the Women’s Premier Division played over the last couple of weeks,” he added.

New Zealand are the defending Commonwealth Games champions and Australia won the recently completed World Series. South Africa will face Scotland in their opening match. Fiji, Uganda, Canada and England will complete the eight-team line-up.

Springbok Women’s Sevens training squad:
Kyla de Vries, Nontuthuko Shongwe, Kemisetso Baloyi, Liske Lategan (all Blue Bulls Women), Anacadia Minnaar (EP Queens), Alichia Arries, Donelle Snyders, Felicia Jacobs (all DHL Western Province), Asisipho Plaatjies, Unathi Mali, Snenhlanhla Shozi, Mathrin Simmers (all Border Ladies), Faith Gosling, Zandile Masuku (SWD Eagirls), Luleka Tyibilika (Boland Dames), Bianca Augustyn (Maties).

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