SA Select Women’s coach Renfred Dazel said his team was keen to make their mark and improve on their Plate Final finish in Las Vegas as they take to the field in the Hong Kong Invitational on Thursday and Friday.
The team will meet African rivals Kenya in their opening pool match on Thursday at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Kowloon – a match Dazel believes will set the tone for the rest of the competition.
The team will also face China and Kazakhstan on Thursday, with a clash against France on Friday to conclude the round-robin stages. The final stages will follow immediately, with the champions being crowned later in the day.
“We have been preparing for this tournament since returning from Las Vegas, and our goal is to advance to the semi-final and possibly the Cup final,” said Dazel.
“Player management has been vital since our arrival in Hong Kong to allow the players to adapt to the vastly different time zone, and hopefully we will see the results of that on the field.
“We face Kenya in our opening match, which will not be easy, especially since there is an intense rivalry between us, but that match will undoubtedly set the tone for the rest of the competition. China, Kazakhstan and France will also be tough to topple, so we have to make our presence felt from the outset to advance to the final stages.”
Dazel was pleased with the way new players Megan Comley, Tyler Botha and Christelene Steinhobel had slotted in at training, and said he was excited to see what they have to offer during the tournament.
“Megan, Tyler and Christelene all proved their worth at the Springbok Women’s trials last year and they impressed us in the lead-up to the Hong Kong Invitational, so I am excited to see what they have to offer,” said Dazel.
“This will be a tough test for them, but I believe in their abilities. There are also several leaders in the squad including the likes of captain Lorinda Brown, Zenay Jordaan and Marithy Pienaar, and they will play a key role in guiding the new players.”
The matches can be viewed on livestreaming at www.hirugby.com/live
SA Select Women’s squad for Hong Kong Invitational:
Lorinda Brown (captain)
SA Select Women pool fixtures at the Hong Kong Invitational (SA kick-off times):
Thursday, 7 April – Kings Park Sports Ground, Kowloon
03h00 – SA Select vs Kenya
06h00 – SA Select vs Kazakhstan
10h30 – SA Select vs China
Friday, 8 April – Hong Kong Football Club
03h40 – SA Select vs France