The Springbok Women face the massive task of qualifying for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in August, which will be followed by Test matches against Spain and Scotland, while the SA U20 Women will play their first internationals in six years when they take on Zimbabwe in two matches late in June.
Raubenheimer’s team will face Uganda (Friday, 9 August), Madagascar (Tuesday, 13 August) and Kenya (Saturday, 17 August) in the Women’s Cup at the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan, Gauteng, which serves as the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifier.
This will be followed by a Test against Spain on Saturday, 21 September, in Port Elizabeth and back-to-back internationals against Scotland at the City Park Sports Grounds in Athlone on Monday, 30 September, and Saturday, 5 October 2019.
Johannes’ charges, meanwhile, will face Zimbabwe in Harare on Wednesday 26 and Saturday 29 June in their first assignment since the Nations Cup in 2013 against England, USA and Canada in London.
Raubenheimer invited 20 players to his three-day conditioning camp in Stellenbosch, which kicked off on Thursday, where the players have been put through their paces in fitness drills and a handful of field training sessions.
“The main focus of our camp is conditioning so we can assess where the players are and see what we need to improve, as well as what they need to do on their own,” said Raubenheimer. “On the field the focus is to get clarity on our attacking play.
“It is good to touch base with the players and to make sure they all understand how big this year is for us, especially in terms of our preparation for the World Cup Qualifier in August.”
The 32-member SA U20 Women’s squad, meanwhile, started their week-long training camp at the HPC in Pretoria on Monday, and with their matches kicking off in less than two weeks, Johannes said the emphasis was mainly on their structures and game plans.
The camp concludes on Saturday, with the team set to depart for Harare on Monday, 24 June.
“The camp is going well,” said Johannes. “The players are working hard.
“This is definitely a step-up from our first camp, as our focus is more on game-plan structure and getting the girls into game mode, and they are looking good. We played a friendly against the Blue Bulls U20 team to see how things are working, and there is a positive vibe in the squad.”
Johannes is expected to trim her squad down to 26 players for the tour.
Springbok Women’s conditioning camp squad:
Onaka Jita (Boland), Lusanda Dumke, Snenhlanhla Shozi (both Border), Aseza Hele (Eastern Province), Bernice Strydom (Free State), Maxine Engelbrecht (Griquas), Tayla Kinsey, Lindelwa Gwala, Zinhle Ndawonde, Sizophila Solontsi (all KZN), Ayanda Malinga (Pumas), Babalwa Latsha, Nomsa Mokwai, Sinazo Mcatshulwa, Vuyolwethu Maqholo (all Western Province), Rights Mkhari, Mathrin Simmers, Zenay Jordaan, Zintle Mpupha, Eloise Webb (all SA Rugby contracted).
The SA Under-20 Women’s training squad:
Lerato Makua, Sune Pawson (both Blue Bulls), Anelca Hess, Keisha Stuurman (both Boland), Chumisa Qawe, Chuma Qawe, Nqatysiwa Lafutha, Owethu Nayiphi, Mihlali Mgweba, Andisiwe Magazi, Sethu Mavela (all Border), Sibabalwe Klaas, Amahle Nyoba, Phelisa Mrwebi, Sanelisiwe Charlie (all Eastern Province), Ntabiseng Ncalane (Golden Lions), Nompumelelo Mathe, Tyler-Jane Coleman, Nonthando Majozi (all KwaZulu-Natal), Buhle Mrkabalala (Leopards), Anastacia Mashiane (Limpopo), Edwaline Dickson (SWD), Roseline Botes, Donelle Snyders, Aneliswe Mxabo, Shoneez Sabatini, Gaamiela Josephs, Leandi Smith, Shaunique Hess, Kyle-Lee Hendricks, Kimberley Horlin and Alizwa Ganyathi (all Western Province).