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SA women's Sevens squad named

Sapa

The South African women's Sevens squad has been named on Friday for the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series tournament in Dubai next week.

Nwabisa Ngxatu of the South African women's Sevens rugby team. (Getty)

South Africa are one of 12 sides from six continents that will compete in the historic opening round of the series.

The team will be captained by loose forward Mandisa Williams, while two players, Bella Benele Makwezela and Zimkitha Tsilana, will make their debuts for the national side.

Coach Denver Wannies said the team's recent trip to China gave the newcomers a taste of what to expect in Dubai.

"The warm-up tournament in Guangzhou was a very good exercise and, in particular, the newcomers now have a much better understanding of what is required to play at this level," he said.

"Our biggest concern at the moment is the lack of game time since the 2009 World Cup in Dubai, where we reached the semifinals ... However, our players usually adapt well to the dry climate of Dubai so we will be looking to our previous results there to provide extra motivation against some very tough opposition."

Wannies was pleased with the balance between youth and experience in the squad.

"I am confident that the players will give a good account of themselves," he said.

"England are the clear tournament favourites, Spain have a promising squad while Brazil will be looking to lay a good foundation for the 2016 Olympic Games ... Our aim is to qualify for the knockout phase, but to do that we will have to be very competitive on day one." – Sapa

Squad: Yolanda Meiring, Mandisa Williams (captain), Nwabisa Ngxatu, Ziyanda Tywaleni, Nosiphiwo Goda, Fundiswa Plaatjie, Zenay Jordaan, Phumeza Gadu, Natasha Hofmeester, Bella Benele Makwezela, Zimkitha Tsilana, Mathrin Simmers.

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