NEWS ARTICLES
Elite Women given SARU contracts en route to Rio
January 29, 2014
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has awarded national contracts to 15 Springbok Women Sevens players for the first time in history in a significant move towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and proving its commitment to growing Women’s rugby.

The 15 are members of the elite Sevens squad based in Port Elizabeth in a programme supported by the Eastern Province’s Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

This group includes star players Zenay Jordaan, Mathrin Simmers and Veroeshka Grain, who participated in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow as well as the 15-a-side Rugby World Cup qualifier against Uganda last season.

The contracts range from five to 12 months.

“This is a watershed moment for Women’s rugby in South Africa,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux.

“It shows that we have faith in our players and that SARU is serious about Women’s rugby. We are determined to see the ladies excel on the international stage, and by raising the level of professionalism in the women’s set-up, we believe results will follow.”

SARU was the first union to award full-time national contracts to the men’s Sevens team in the 2008/2009 season, since when the team has delivered consistent results.

Rassie Erasmus, SARU’s General Manager of High Performance, was equally excited about the decision to contract an elite group of players and he believed it would inspire more women to follow their dream of becoming professional rugby players.

“Women’s rugby worldwide has grown tremendously in the last few years and with the inclusion of Sevens rugby in the Olympic Games from 2016 we believe it will be even more popular in future,” said Erasmus.

“In line with this growth it was essential to align our structures with international standards in order to compete successfully against the best teams in the world. This is certainly a massive milestone for Women’s rugby in South Africa.”

Erasmus was equally delighted about the residential programme, which involves 16 players being housed in Port Elizabeth, as it provides an ideal environment for the players to train and bond off the field.

“The residential programme, which was introduced last year, has already started bearing fruit as the SA Select Women’s Sevens team finished as runners up in the Dubai International Invitational tournament in November last year, and hopefully the team will build on that performance this year,” said Erasmus.

“In the past our women players had to train on their own and then assemble in short camps before matches, which was not conducive to consistent quality performances. These initiatives have definitely changed the face of women’s rugby.”

Springbok Women contract group (with province, position):

Nicolene Barendse (SWD Wing)
Siviwe Basweni (Border Flyhalf)
Lorinda Brown (Eastern Province Centre)
Phumeza Gadu (Eastern Province Utility Back)
Rachelle Geldenhuys (Golden Lions Looseforward)
Nosiphiwo Goda (Border Hooker)
Veroeshka Grain (Western Province Utility Back)
Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province Flyhalf)
Jacqueline Kriel (Blue Bulls Utility Back)
Nomaphelo Mayongo (KwaZulu-Natal Flank)
Nomsa Mokwai (Leopards Looseforward)
Marithy Pienaar (Blue Bulls Centre)
Fundiswa Plaatjie (Border Scrumhalf)
Mathrin Simmers (SWD Utility Back)
Voyulwethu Vazi (Blue Bulls Flank).

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
Absa Under 19 Competition
Friday, September 05 2014
17:00 - EP Kings U19 vs Sharks U19
NMMU Stadium, PE
Absa Under 21 Competition
18:00 - Border U21 vs Sharks U21
BCM Stadium, East London
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
19:10 - DHL Western Province vs EP Kings
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, September 06 2014
09:35 - New Zealand vs Argentina
McLean Park, Napier
Absa Under 19 Competition
11:00 - Free State U19 vs Leopards U19
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
11:45 - Griffons U19 vs Boland U19
North West Stadium, Welkom
12:00 - Valke U19 vs SWD U19
Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
Patersons Stadium, Perth
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Regional Play-Offs
12:45 - Leopards 2 (Vaal Reefs) vs Valke 2 (Brakpan)
Olen Park, Potchefstroom
Absa Under 21 Competition
13:00 - Free State U21 vs Leopards U21
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

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