Cape Town - Springbok Women’s captain
Nolusindiso Booi said on Wednesday the team are thrilled by the prospect of
playing their first Test match on tour, but that they are bracing themselves
for a tough challenge against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.
The clash against Wales, which
kicks off 13:30 SA Time, marks the first of three Tests on
their tour. This will be followed by matches against Spain in Villajoyosa on
Saturday, November 17, and Italy in Prato on Sunday, November 25.
“The team is in a good mental
space and all of us are excited about facing Wales on Saturday,” said Booi.
“We have continued to build on
the structures the coaches put in place for the game against the UK Armed
Forces at training this week, while also focussing on the areas which we feel
we need to improve on. We are very focussed and determined to do well.”
Looking ahead at the clash
against Wales, the skipper said: “We are certainly expecting a different
challenge against Wales. We have no doubt they will come hard at us.
“Their pack of forwards is big
and strong, and they have more experience players than us, so we will be
tested. But we have a lot of heart, and the players are hungry to play
international rugby again, so we are ready for the challenge.”
Booi admitted that the emotions
would run high within the squad this week with several players set to make
their Test debuts.
“We are experiencing mixed
feelings,” said Booi.
“There is a lot of excitement in
the squad, but there are also a bit of nerves. However, we are ready to measure
ourselves against Wales and to see what we are capable of. The uncapped players
are especially excited to play their first Test, so Saturday will be a big day
for us as a team.”
Of her expectations from her
team-mates, Booi said: “I would like to see us working together as unit and for
the players to fight until the last minute. But at the same time, I would like
everyone to enjoy the experience of playing a Test.”
Stanley Raubenheimer, coach of
the Springbok Women’s team, will name the side to face Wales on Friday morning.