Rugby

SA women eye World Series

2014-08-26 17:33
Renfred Dazel (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The Springbok Women Sevens will face France, China and Mexico in their pool matches at the IRB Women's Sevens World Series qualifier in Hong Kong next month, the International Rugby Board has announced.

South Africa are among 12 teams going head-to-head at the Shek Kip Mei Stadium on September 12 and 13 for the four places up for grabs in the core group of the 2014/2015 IRB Women's Sevens World Series.

New Zealand, Australia, Russia, England, Spain, the United States and Canada have already secured their places in the tournament.

Japan, China, Kenya, Brazil, Fiji, Mexico, Hong Kong, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Argentina and South Africa will battle it out for the last four places.

The top four teams at the conclusion of the 2014/2015 World Series will automatically qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Springbok Women's Sevens coach Renfred Dazel was optimistic his team could qualify for the World Series, but he expected them to be tested physically and mentally in Hong Kong.

"Every team will enter the competition with the same goal and that is to qualify for the World Series with an eye on having a shot at Olympic qualification," Dazel said on Tuesday.

"We faced France in the Amsterdam World Sevens Series leg in May and suffered a 26-0 defeat and they beat us 19-5 in the Hong Kong Invitational in March.

"We have also seen China and Mexico in action and they have players with good skills and speed. So we will certainly not write them off."

Dazel said he had been impressed by the players' attitude during their two-week training camp in Stellenbosch.

"This is exactly what I expect from the players in Hong Kong," he said.

"We all realise the importance of progressing to the semi-finals of the tournament and one can sense that in the players' attitude and work ethic. They know they will have to be at their best to achieve it."

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