Springbok Women's coach Lawrence Sephaka on Tuesday announced a preliminary squad of 39 players for the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup to be held in France from August 1 to 17.
The squad includes the 16 elite Springbok Women Sevens players, 11 players who featured in the 2010 World Cup in London and a number of up-and-coming players.
"We have five months to get the women ready for the Rugby World Cup, so it is important to name a preliminary squad who we could work with to ensure that their fitness levels and techniques are at the required level to compete successfully," said Sephaka in a statement.
"This squad features a healthy mix of youth and experience, which is encouraging for the future of women's rugby, but also to achieve our goal of advancing to the knock-out stages, and hopefully winning the tournament."
The squad will be reduced to 26 players before the World Cup.
The specialist 15-a-side players will continue their preparation for the World Cup in their satellite camps in the next few months, while the Sevens elite players will participate in the Hong Kong Invitational, an African Sevens series in Kenya and the IRB Women's World Sevens Series in Amsterdam in the next two months.
Preliminary World Cup squad
The preliminary squad will then assemble in Pretoria for a training camp from June 18 to June 24, after which the squad will travel to London and France for a World Cup warm-up tour. This tour will feature three matches, two against the Nomads in London, and one against World Cup hosts and pool competitors France.
The squad will assemble again on July 14 for a two-week holding camp, with the World Cup squad set to depart for Paris on July 27.
Springbok Women's preliminary World Cup squad: (In alphabetical order) Celeste Adonis, Nicolene Barendse, Siviwe Basweni, Lorinda Brown, Nolusindiso Booi, Marlien Cronje, Kirsten Conrad, Nomathamsanqa Faleni, Phumeza Gadu, Rachelle Geldenhuys, Veroeshka Grain, Nosiphiwo Goda, Laurian Johannes, Portia Jonga, Zenay Jordaan, Tayla Kinsey, Jacqueline Kriel, Thantaswa Macingwana, Benele Makwezela, Nomaphelo Mayongo, Vuyokazi Mbonda, Andrea Mentoor, Rights Mkhari, Nomsa Mokwai, Lamla Momoti, Zintle Mpupha, Nwabisa Ngxatu, Asithandile Ntoyanto, Tamsyn Nuttley, Marithy Pienaar, Fundiswa Plaatjie, Mathrin Simmers, Amanda Tshidi, Ziyanda Tywaleni, Vuyolwethu Vazi, Denita Wentzel, Shona-Leah Weston, Christal Williams, Mandisa Williams. – Sapa