Nosiphiwo Goda was delighted to participate in the first Springbok Women’s Internationals since the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, and the speedy winger said every opportunity she received to wear the green and gold jersey was special.
Goda, who was one of only six capped players named in coach Stanley Raubenheimer’s 28-member squad as they embarked on their European Tour, has been one of the key figures in the squad in last three matches, starting against the UK Armed Forces, Wales and Spain.
The 33-year-old Goda made her Springbok Women’s Test debut on the team’s Rugby World Cup warm-up tour to London and France in 2014, while she also represented the Springbok Women’s Sevens team in the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series.
“It has always been, and will continue to be a true honour to represent my country,” said Goda.
“It is an unbelievable feeling to be part of this squad. Every time I wear the jersey it is special.
“This tour has reminded me about how vastly different provincial and national rugby is, and I am loving every moment of this experience.”
The team may have won only one of their first three tour matches – against the UK Armed Forces – but Goda believes that their quality of rugby will improve the more they compete in the international arena.
“The team is certainly on a good footing going forward,” said Goda.
“There are a whole lot of new players in the set-up, who play with a lot of heart, and they have a real passion for the sport and the team. I am sure that in two years we will see an even bigger difference in the quality of rugby, especially given the progress we have made in each game on this tour.
“The fighting spirit the ladies have shown and the attitude with which they have approached the games is fantastic.”
Commenting on their final tour match against Italy at Enrico Chersoni Stadium in Prato on Sunday, Goda said their preparation was on track and that they were determined to finish the tour with a win.
“Our preparation has been similar to that for our previous matches, but we have added a few things that we need to improve on, while we have been polishing the areas of our game that we have been doing well in, so that we can be even more effective in those departments,” she said.
“We will enter the Italy match with the mind-set that we have to win. We could have won our last two matches if we used our opportunities, so we know that have the ability to win this match if we stick to our structures and round off our point-scoring chances.”
Sunday’s match kicks off at 15h30 SA Time (14h30 local time).