Friday, September 8, 2017
The Springbok Women Sevens and an SA Select Women’s Sevens team will be in action on opposite sides of the globe over the next few weeks.
While national coach Renfred Dazel is busy preparing his side for their crucial Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifier in Tunisia 16-17 September, former Springbok and Springbok Sevens player Jongi Nokwe will lead an SA Select Women’s side to the Hokkaido Sevens Governors Cup in Japan this weekend.
The development tournament in Sapporo features 12 teams: eight local Japanese clubs, and one each from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
Nokwe, who is the Western Province Women’s assistant coach, will guide the side featuring mainly SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial and Youth Training Centre players, while Springbok Sevens players Marithy Pienaar, Nomsa Mokwai and Kirsten Conrad will offer guidance and experience in the squad.
The SA Select Women’s Sevens finished third in the Hokkaido Invitational Sevens in September last year after going down to Waikato of New Zealand in the semi-final.
Name: Jongikhaya Lutric (Jongi) Nokwe
Born: 30 December 1981 (age 35) in Ngxalawe, South Africa
School: Ngxalawe Primary, Kwamfundo Secondary
Springbok number: 767
Total tests: 4
Debut: 9 August 2008 vs Argentina aged 26
In 2008, Jongi Nokwe became the first Springbok to score four tries in a Test against Australia. Nokwe’s haul of five-pointers in the 53-8 rout of Australia in Johannesburg in August 2008 was also a record for the most tries scored by a player in a Tri-Nations match.
Honours: SA Rugby Young Player of the Year (2005)
BlitzBokke debut: Arabian Gulf Sevens (2002)
Nokwe (pictured above) was excited about the opportunity to guide the team and said: “We have a young and exciting team, and for some of the players it is the first time they travel overseas, so it is an exciting experience for the whole squad.”
The SA Select Women’s Sevens assembled in Stellenbosch on Monday and departed for Japan on Tuesday.
With limited time to prepare for the competition, Nokwe said it was vital for the players to gel as quickly as possible in order to get their campaign off to a good start.
“We know very little about the teams participating in the tournament, so it is vital for us to focus on our game and ensure that we implement our structures effectively,” said Nokwe.
“This requires that we gel quickly both on and off the field, and I am pleased with the progress made in that regard since we assembled.”
The SA Select Women’s Sevens squad for the Hokkaido Invitational is:
Felicia Jacobs – Western Province
Alana-Lee Horne – Western Province
Bianca Meyer – Blue Bulls
Shaunique Hess – Western Province
Kirsten Conrad – Western Province
Sinazo Mcatshulwa – Western Province
Nellodene de Wee – Griquas
Kimico Manuel – Golden Lions
Shaylin Simons – Western Province
Shuneez van Heerden – Leopards
Marithy Pienaar – Contracted SA Rugby player
Nomsa Mokwai – Contracted SA Rugby player