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Springbok women's team get ready to take on Oz

Sapa

SA will start their IRB Women's Rugby World Cup campaign against Australia on the opening day on Friday before facing hosts France on August 5.

​The Springbok women's rugby team is raring to go following months of preparation for the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup. (Gallo)

The Springbok women’s rugby team is raring to go following months of preparation for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup, assistant coach Renfred Dazel said at the team’s arrival in France on Monday.

South Africa will start their campaign against Australia on the opening day on Friday before facing hosts France on August 5. 

Dazel said their arrival in France sparked more excitement within the squad for the tournament to begin. “We have been working hard at training since late last year to ensure that we arrive in France in the best possible shape physically and mentally, so it is fantastic to finally be here,” Dazel said. 

“There is no doubt that there are nerves in the camp as this will be one of the biggest tests many of the players will face in their rugby careers. But there is also an incredible sense of excitement among the players to take to the field, with their first match only a few days away, which is fantastic.” 

The focus in the camp on Monday was mainly for the players to rest and recover from the overnight journey to France, although they would attend the World Cup welcoming function on Monday evening. 

‘Manage the players well’
“It is important for us to manage the players well in the lead-up to Friday’s opening game because we come fresh off an intense two-week training camp in Cape Town, while some of the players battled to sleep on the plane,” he said. 

“We will revert to our normal training schedule on Tuesday to get the ladies switched on mentally for the big task ahead. That said, our training sessions will be short and sharp to ensure that the players are fresh on game day.” 

The opening day of the tournament will include clashes between defending champions New Zealand and Kazakhstan, and Canada and Spain. The United States line up against Ireland, England take on Samoa, while France will go head-to-head with Wales in the final match of the day. – Sapa

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