Springbok Women Still On A Rugby World Cup Mission


The pain of their last-minute defeat to Fiji still lingers, but the Springbok Women have changed track in mindset and focus and are now getting ready for the biggest challenge of their careers, to take on England at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.

This Rugby World Cup clash in New Zealand will be their last Pool C match and if they do not win the encounter, it will be their last game of the tournament.

Few will argue that England are firm favourites and that is not even disputed by Springbok Women forwards coach Eddie Myners, who insists that the South Africans will not go down without a desperate fight for survival.

“We did target the Fiji game for a win when we planned our campaign and we were hoping to get at least a bonus point from the matches against France and England,” said Myners.

“Things have not worked out for us, and it is disappointing, but we still have one more go at it. We now need to beat England to survive into the next round. Stranger things have happened, and we are certainly not going down without a fight.”

The match against the Red Roses was pencilled in months ago and plans were made for this encounter – in fact, the Springbok Women even had two training sessions against the English team when they were on tour to France, Wales and England in November last year.

“Yes, we had two training sessions against them last year and it was clear then that we needed to be much sharper a year later,” said Myners.

“We have stepped up in performance and in attitude since then. We have been excited about this fixture for a while now and so are the players.

“We want to be here at this World Cup to measure ourselves against the best and there are no better than England, so we could not have asked for more. Why should we be despondent if this is exactly what every player wanted, to play and be measured against the best team in the world?”

The coach confirmed that the team will be announced on Thursday morning (NZ time) and that hooker Lindelwa Gwala's name will miss the clash.

“Sadly she will not be around due to injury and that is a pity, and she was really playing well for us. We are certainly going to miss her presence in the scrums, but this injury gives an opportunity to the next player to show what they are capable of against the tournament favourites,” he said.

“We obviously made plans on how we want to tackle England and which players we need for the match. We have a squad of 32, and some of them have not played yet, and they might be in our plans for this match. We will need a group of 23 players who would want to leave nothing out there, who would want to play as if it their very last opportunity in the green and gold.”