Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Tuesday
that the Springbok Women Sevens team would not be competing at the Rio Olympics
in 2016, despite achieving the qualifying standard of World Rugby.
The Springbok Women won the African qualifying competition
in Kempton Park in September to satisfy the criteria of rugby’s world governing
body. However, the team did not fulfil the criteria of the South African Sports
Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
“We are extremely disappointed for our Springbok Women,”
said Oregan Hoskins.
“We placed our top players on a full-time programme two
years ago and they are trailblazers for professional women’s sport and rugby in
“Their appearance at such a showcase sporting occasion would
have been inspirational for many young female athletes; but it was not to be.”
Hoskins said that SARU would continue with its women’s
rugby programme despite the setback.
“Women’s sport is an imperative for national government and
an increasing number of young South African women want to try their hand at
rugby. We will be there to provide that platform.”
The Springbok Women Sevens team are next planned to be in
action in the United States and Canada in March.