Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer named Lusanda Dumke as captain for the squad to play Kenya in the first of two Test matches in Stellenbosch on Thursday.
The Border Ladies flanker has earned seven caps for the Springbok Women since 2018 and represented the Springbok Women’s Sevens team before leading her provincial outfit to the Premier Division title last month.
Dumke takes over the captaincy from the injured Nolusindiso Booi in a squad that will hand starting debuts to DHL Western Province wing Alichia Arries and Blue Bulls Women lock Catha Jacobs – the match will be streamed live on Springboks.rugby.
The team differ vastly from the last test the Springbok Women played (a 38-15 defeat to Scotland in October 2019), with only prop Yonela Ngxingolo, hooker Lindelwa Gwala, lock Nompumelelo Mathe and centre Chumisa Qawe again involved.
The Springbok Women defeated Kenya 39-0 in their last Test match in August 2019 and Raubenheimer recalled all of Dumke, Gwala, Eloise Webb, Zintle Mpupha, Zenay Jordaan, Sinazo Mcatshulwa, Ngxingolo and Sizophila Solontsi from that match in Brakpan to start again in the Danie Craven Stadium.
Apart from those experienced players, Raubenheimer also named seven uncapped players – Micke Gunter, Sanelisiwe Charlie, Amahle Nyoba, Lerato Makua, Ziyanda Ngohlekana, Donelle Snyders and Libbie Janse van Rensburg – on the bench as he integrates a number of new players in the squad.
“We only had two days of preparation with the new players in the squad, so we didn’t have a lot of time to integrate them yet,” Raubenheimer explained.
“The preparations went well, we focussed on integrating the new players on how we want to play. We are tweaking certain aspects of our game. We want to change the way we used our first phase possession, and we want to evolve our kicking game a bit more.
“Last time we played Kenya, we had a good first half, but then we struggled in the second half. The aim this time will be a complete 80-minute performance and to implement those changes in our playing structures.
“It will not be easy as Kenya are a tough nut to crack, and we have some new players at this level. We hope to live up to our own expectations for this one,” Raubenheimer added.
Springbok Women (with caps and points):
- Eloise Webb (Boland Dames; three caps, 20 points)
- Veroeshka Grain (DHL Western Province; 11 caps 15 points)
- Zintle Mpupha (DHL Western Province; seven caps, 27 points)
- Chumisa Qawe (DHL Western Province; two caps, 10 points)
- Alichia Arries (DHL Western Province; debut)
- Zenay Jordaan (EP Queens; 32 caps 65 points)
- Felicia Jacobs (DHL Western Province; four caps, 0 points)
- Sizophila Solontsi (Cell C Sharks Women; four caps, 0 points)
- Sinazo Mcatshulwa (DHL Western Province; seven caps, 10 points)
- Lusanda Dumke (captain – Border Ladies; seven caps, 5 points)
- Catha Jacobs (Blue Bulls Women; debut)
- Nompumelelo Mathe (Cell C Sharks Women; three caps, 0 points)
- Yonela Ngxingolo (Border Ladies; nine caps, 5 points)
- Lindelwa Gwala (Cell C Sharks Women; 10 caps, 5 points)
- Asithandile Ntoyanto (Border Ladies; five caps, 5 points)
- Micke Gunter (Cell C Sharks Women, debut)
- Sanelisiwe Charlie (EP Queens, debut)
- Amahle Nyoba (EP Queens, debut)
- Lerato Makua (Blue Bulls Women, debut)
- Ziyanda Ngohlekana (SWD Eagirls, debut)
- Donelle Snyders (DHL Western Province, debut)
- Libbie Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls Women, debut )
- Aphiwe Ngwevu (Boland Dames; five caps, 15 points)
Match Information – Springbok Women v Kenya Lionesses
Date: Thursday, 12 August 2021
Venue: Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
Kick-off: 15h00 (live-stream on Springboks.rugby)
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Referees: Ashleigh Murray-Pretorius, Dylan November