Changes to Springbok Women team for Kenya

Changes to Springbok Women team for Kenya

Changes to Springbok Women team for Kenya

Changes to Springbok Women team for Kenya

Springbok Women head coach Louis Koen made nine changes to his starting team and 11 overall when he named his squad to play Kenya in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup at Stade Makis in Antananarivo on Wednesday.

Free State Women outside back Sikholiwe Mdletshe will earn her first cap after being named on the left wing, while regular starter Sinazo Mcatshulwa returns at flanker for South Africa’s second match of the tournament, after they outplayed Cameroon 55-0 in the opening match on Saturday.

Koen selected a new midfield, where Jakkie Cilliers will link up with Aphiwe Ngwevu, a try-scorer off the bench against Cameroon. Tayla Kinsey, South Africa’s most capped scrumhalf, will swop places with Rumandi Potgieter after playing her 33rd Test match off the bench at the weekend.

Squad personnel Azisa Mkiva, Roseline Botes and Xoliswa Khuzwayo swap their opening match bench role for starting positions in the front row against Kenya.

Botes (hooker) swops places with Lindelwa Gwala and Khuzwayo (prop) with Sanelisiwe Charlie. Mkiva replaced the injured Aliyah Tchogna-Njamen early in the Cameroon game, which means Amber Schonert, who made her Test debut at the same venue last year, will provide tighthead cover against Kenya.

Vainah Ubisi and Nomsa Mokwai also swop jerseys, with Ubisi starting and Mokwai moving to the bench where she will be joined by Unathi Qolo, who will be keen to start her contribution to the Springbok Women’s quest to qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

The Springbok Women’s last Test against Kenya was in September 2023 at the University of Western Cape Stadium in Bellville, where South Africa won by 77-12.

Only five players who started against Kenya in that Test are back and will run out in the starting line-up again: Cilliers, Mcatshulwa, Botes, Byrhandrè Dolf and Lusanda Dumke.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby.

Note to editors: Audio notes of Louis Koen can be downloaded here (