Springbok Women – Springbok Women Aim For Positive Ending To Euro Tour


Reviews usually happen after matches, but for Springbok Women captain Nolusindiso Booi some reflection before their final Test of their 2024 European tour against the USA Women in London on Saturday was needed to get her team focussed and ready for the encounter at Ealing Sport Club at 15h00 (SA time).

For Booi, the progress and improvement shown in training sessions against Scotland and Wales, and a test win against Spain last weekend, provides the blueprint for their approach against the USA.

“We have been building nicely during the tour,” said Booi.

“We had a couple of objectives coming on tour and improving on the field of play was a big one. That included adapting to the intensity and pace the top ten teams in the world play with, something we got a taste of in the sessions against Scotland and Wales.

“Now we will encounter USA and if we applied the learnings on tour so far, I believe we are well prepared to deliver a very good performance.”

Booi urged her teammates to push through until the final play “We are close to the end of the tour and after three weeks going home will be welcomed by all, but before that, we have one more job to do. One of our other objectives was to win both tests, so the job is not done for us.”

Booi played in four of the previous test matches against the USA, with the last 11 years ago: “Both teams have changed a lot since, both in personnel and style, so this will be a new beginning almost. It is certainly a match we are looking forward to playing in.”

Booi will be extending her record for the Springbok Women to 42 Test caps in London, while the clash will also be significant for two of her teammates, Asipe Mayaba and Nomsa Mokwai.
Mayaba, who scored a hat-trick on debut and twice in her second outing, returns from a long-term injury to earn a third test cap, while Mokwai lost her mother at the start of the tour.

Mokwai returned home for the funeral and rejoined just before the Spain Test. Her fifth appearance will also be the first time she plays under Louis Koen as head coach after he took over the reins just over a year ago.

“I never expected to be back in test rugby again, so this is just wonderful for me. The emotions will be there, but this is also a wonderful opportunity to honour my mother and that will motivate me if I get a chance to play,” said Mokwai, who will have her mother’s date of birth and date of passing written on her leg strapping.

Mayaba said she was very excited to return to the Test arena: “I would love nothing more than scoring a try because us wingers love doing that, but if that does not happen, my contributions to the team in general play and defence are equally important. Being back at this level made the rehabilitation worth the while and I cannot wait to get back on the field and do my thing with such a great bunch of teammates.”

16/08/2009 (Ontario): USA 39, South Africa 0
09/08/2011 (Ontario): South Africa 26, USA 23
13/08/2011 (Ontario): USA 29, South Africa 9
03/08/2013 (Colorado): USA 35, South Africa 22
10/08/2013 (Colorado): USA 61, South Africa 5

Match details: Springbok Women v USA Women
Date: Saturday 30 March 2024
Venue: Ealing Trailfinders Sports Club, London
Kick-off: 15h00 (SA time)
Referee: Holly Wood (England)
Livestream: SA Rugby YouTube Channel.