The Springbok Women will take on Spain in a two-Test series in August, in what will be their final match preparations before they depart to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.
The Tests will take place in Johannesburg and Potchefstroom and according to SA Rugby’s High-Performance Manager: Women, Lynne Cantwell, will be ideal preparation before departure to the Rugby World Cup.
The first Test will be played at Emirates Airline Park as a curtain-raiser to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash between the Springboks and All Blacks on Saturday, 13 August, while the second will be played at the Fanie du Toit Stadium in Potchefstroom on Friday, 19 August.
“We are grateful to World Rugby and the Spanish Rugby Union for making the tour possible as it comes at an ideal time for our squad to step up their preparations for the Rugby World Cup,” said Cantwell.
“Spain will provide very good competition, as they are ranked three places above us in the world rankings. We are also mindful of the fact that it is Women’s Month in South Africa and playing these two Test matches in this time will boost the profile of our squad and garner interest for their Rugby World Cup participation.”
Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer also welcomed the tour: “We played against Spain over there in 2018 and they toured South Africa in 2019, giving us a clear indication at that time to where we were in our early steps towards the Rugby World Cup.
“It will be an interesting challenge this time around as I believe we had made some good progress since then and this will be the final phase of our preparations for New Zealand. We’ve come a long way since our last meeting and I know this will be highly competitive matches, something we need before getting on the plane.”
Juan Gonzalez Marruecos, Spain Women’s XV Head Coach, said they see the series as an amazing opportunity for their team.
“We are ahead of opening a new cycle for the team, as some key players of the national squad announced their retirement after non-achieving the Rugby World Cup Qualification for New Zealand,” said Marruecos.
“Therefore, we will have some new additions who will have a chance to prove themselves at international level. Honestly, we are preparing the team for a tough series against a South African team who is preparing for the Rugby World Cup, professionalizing their players and will have made a Japan Tour so they will be at their best level both physically and gameplay quality-wise. Despite that, we’re ambitious and our main goal, beyond consolidating the team, is come back with two wins.”
2014: Rugby World Cup in Paris: Spain 36-0
2018: November tour in Nilijyoso (Spain): Spain 17-5
2019: SA tour in Despatch: Spain 29-12