The 33-year-old outside back was part of the squad that won the Rugby Africa Women's Cup. The result was that South Africa qualified for both next year's Rugby World Cup in England and WXV 2 in Cape Town in September.

At Stade Makis in Antananarivo, Grain scored her eighth Test try in 21 appearances, something she still remembers fondly.

“I scored a try on Mother's Day and being a mother myself and away from home on that day, it was quite special for me and my son,” Grain said with a broad smile in Madrid.

“When coach Renfred (Dazel) asked me to join the squad once we get back from Madagascar, I did not hesitate. Although I played more fifteens than sevens in the last couple of years, I know how important it is for the team to retain their core status on the circuit. The fact that he believes than I can still add value in the race to survive was a huge compliment.”

Grain was a member of the last Springbok Women's Sevens team before this season to last play as core team on the world series, in the 2014/15 season.

“I have always loved sevens, since my debut for the team in 2013 and every opportunity to join up with them again, is one not to be missed,” she said, adding that while the physical demands when rejoining the sevens team was tough, the mental aspect was not.

“When you know what is coming your way, it is easier to adapt. The team is also in a good space, they have been playing some good sevens over the last couple of months. I think the squad will do the business, especially with a couple of older hands on deck as we will bring the experience.”

Sizophila Solontsi in action at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Stellenbosch last year.

Sizophila Solontsi in action at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Stellenbosch last year.

Another of those experienced additions is Sizophila Solontsi. The fiery loose forward also joined from Madagascar, having last played and captained the Springbok Women's Sevens in the World Rugby Challenger Series a year ago, where they qualified for the 2024 HSBC SVNS.

A long-term injury then ruled Solontsi out from any participation in the shorter code for the rest of the season.

“The injury was unfortunate and came at the worst time, as the sevens season was just getting underway,” said Solontsi.

“It was not a great feeling to miss out playing on the world series, but here I am, finally getting an opportunity.

“Physically I am good as I had a solid rehabilitation back into the fifteens game and things were going well there. The change to sevens brings challenges, but I always felt comfortable moving from fifteens to sevens on short notice.

“We have a fight on our hands to stay up, but the squad will prevail. It is a massive tournament for us, but the belief and confidence are there.”

Springbok Women's Sevens pool fixtures:

Friday 31 May:
12h00: Argentina
15h06: Belgium

Saturday 1 June:
13h51: Brazil