Harare – Head coach of South Africa’s Springboks Women, Stanley Raubenheimer, says his side is progressing well in its preparations for the 2021 Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand hosts the showpiece in September.
Raubenheimer will soon increase the number of players in camp from 24 to 40 as he ups preps for the World Cup.
“The camp is going well, we are on track, I am happy,” he said this week. “The conditioning, which was the main purpose of the training camp is picking up very nicely, and the players are adapting well to the load we are putting on them.
“We have another five-week camp later in the year, and since time is the only thing we don’t have, we are making the most of the time we have together.”
When the players in camp hits 40 on March 14, Raubenheimer says he will switch focus from conditioning to match game situations.
“When the other players arrive we will build on what we have been doing, but I would also like to factor in match simulation to see how we implement some of the aspects we have been working on since last year, as we haven’t had a chance to do so in a game situation.
“So, the focus of the camp will be on match preparation and how we handle that.”
He added: “It is always a good thing to have more players in the set-up. Every time there are new faces there is a different energy and the players who have been in the group push themselves harder.
“We have a culture of hard work in our squad and I expect the players who were not available for this part of the camp to bring a renewed freshness to training, and an excitement to prove that they need to be here.”
Raubenheimer said his charges would play three friendly matches in as many days as part of the tune-up.
“We are planning on playing three matches within the expanded squad and almost simulating a World Cup time frame, so that we can see how the players handle the challenge of playing three games within four days of one another.”
The Springboks Women are in Pool C with France, whom they face in their September 18 opener. Five days later they take on England and then conclude their group stage matches with a clash against Fiji on September 28.