Dazel finalizes squad for Paris after two-week camp

Springbok Women’s Sevens Head Coach, Renfred Dazel, expressed satisfaction at the end of their two-week Olympic Games camp in Potchefstroom and said all planned objectives had been met at the conclusion of the exercise on Saturday.

Dazel also finalised the fourteen-player roster for their first ever appearance at the Olympics, where their Rugby Sevens participation will start the day after the opening ceremony.

Team South Africa will play defending champions Australia in their opening game on 27 July and will also take on Great Britain and Ireland in Pool B of the competition.

“I am very happy with what we got out of the two-week camp with the only unfortunate part having to tell some players that they were not in the final group. That is always a tough conversation, but in the end I am happy with the squad selected,” Dazel said.

The camp also gave the coaching staff time to further integrate the likes of Sizophila Solontsi, Veroeshka Grain, Byrhandre Dolf, who recently played in the XVs code as well as Libbie Janse van Rensburg, who only returned to action last month in the final HSBC SVNS event in Madrid, following a lengthy injury recovery.

Dazel named 12 players in the official squad and two extras that will travel with the team to France as standby reserves.

Regular co-captains, Mathrin Simmers and Zintle Mpupha are both included as Dazel stuck to the group used during the 2024 SVNS Series. There is a return for Marlize de Bruin also, who missed the last three tournaments of the regular season.

Kemitsetso Baloyi, Nadine Roos, Ayanda Malinga, Liske Lategan and Maria Tshiremba are other regulars that got the nod.

Dazel praised the attitude of the squad during two tough weeks.

“We wanted to train at altitude, on firm surfaces and in good weather. We got all of that in Potchefstroom, with their Sports Village and High-Performance facilities answering all our needs. It was a tough two weeks and I can only congratulate the squad on the way they responded to the challenges we presented to them.”

The team will now enjoy a short break before they assemble in Cape Town on 7 July. They will depart to Montpellier in France on 12 July. They will spend a week in the south of France training against Australia and Brazil before joining the world showpiece at the Olympic Village in Paris on 20 July.

The Team SA squad for Paris 2024:

1. Mathrin Simmers

2. Zintle Mpupha

3. Sizophila Solontsi

4. Veroeshka Grain

5. Kemisetso Baloyi

6. Nadine Roos

7. Liske Lategan

8. Byrhandre Dolf

9. Ayanda Malinga

10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg

11. Marlize de Bruin

12. Maria Tshiremba

13. Shona-Leah Weston (travelling reserve)

14. Shiniqwa Lamprecht (travelling reserve)

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby.

Note to editors: Audio notes of Renfred Dazel can be downloaded here (https://apo-opa.co/4csVraI).

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