That is the view of Springbok Women assistant coach Laurian Johannes Haupt, who will be returning to her rugby roots when the national team take on their African counterparts at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) this weekend.
“I studied at UWC and that is where I played my very first game of rugby," said the former international prop, who played in 12 Tests for South Africa.
“Now I return as an assistant coach of the national team to my alma mater, which is a nice full circle for me.
“I hope the sports office enticed students to come and watch the game. There is a growth spurt in women's sport, and we hope to see lots of spectators at our game this weekend.”
Johannes Haupt and the rest of the squad have been hard at work putting some final touches in place as they build towards the WXV tournament next month. The squad had alignment camps in Stellenbosch and after a week in Potchefstroom, are getting into Test mode with a final training camp near Krugersdorp.
According to Johannes-Haupt, working at different locations perked up the squad: and that the players responded well: “They worked really hard over the last couple of weeks and the change of scenery did wonders to keep them refreshed and interested.”
Despite the changing locations, the objectives of the camps remained the same, she said.
“These camps have been productive and were of great help as we ultimately prepare for WXV 2 in October,” she said.
“For me as a forwards coach, it was wonderful to have two full packs of forwards to work with and I am sure we will reap the benefits in that tournament. We could really work in units on our set pieces and fitness, as we will be tested in those areas in the WXV. Before that though, a tough match awaits against Kenya.”
The Springbok Women outplayed Kenya 48-0 in their Rugby Africa Women's Cup encounter in Madagascar in May, but Johannes-Haupt is adamant that each match should be treated on its own merits.
“That match is something of the past,” she said. “The fact that we have played them earlier this year, helps a little bit in our preparations, but we still need to get our squad best prepared. We had a lot of new players coming into camp, so we had to align them into a unit and now will have to see who they will do against Kenya.
“The one thing we will know for a fact is that Kenya will not give up. They really bring physicality and want to stay in battle in the scrums. They love to get the ball in the hands of their best runners as well and this time will be no different.”
The match-23 for the Test against Kenya will be announced on Thursday.