South Africa face Uganda this weekend, with the winner qualifying for next year's Women's Rugby World Cup in France. We caught up with South Africa's captain, Mandisa Williams, to hear how her side are preparing for the match.
Mandisa, what is the mood like among the squad as you prepare for the qualifier with Uganda? The girls are excited nervous but with a good spirit in the team. Every person is putting an extra effort for the success of the team on the seventh of September.
What are you expecting from your opponents Uganda? I expect the normal Uganda that's physical, destructive and with the over eagerness for victory.
What would you say are the strengths of this South African team? SA has young talented playmakers with speed agility and strength, sevens experience in about seven of the girls, and quite a number of seniors that are game breakers.
How important is it for South Africa to qualify for WRWC 2014 in France? It is super important because a World Cup is where a team can judge themselves with other countries. We mostly need to qualify so that we can represent our country for the growth of women's rugby in the country, otherwise if we don't qualify there will be no support systems in place which will mean drought for the next 4 years.
What would it mean to you personally if South Africa do reach WRWC 2014? It will be the greatest moment because I understand better what will be achieved. We need d a positive attitude until the end to achieve this.
How does it feel to not only play for but captain the Springbok women’s team? It's overwhelming and exciting but a lot of pressure because I need to lead by an example on and off the field, talk on behalf of the team, motivate and help in coaching, a psychologist at times but I wont lie I love every moment.
If South Africa qualify it will be your third Women’s Rugby World Cup – how do you look back on the tournaments in Canada and London? Those tournament were a good first gear for us, to see how much work was needed to be done and also to check strengths and weaknesses of the team and to prepare and test the girls' mental and physical toughness on international stages.
2010 brought South Africa’s first World Cup win – over Wales – how significant was that win for the team and women’s rugby in South Africa? As much as we are a team from Africa where there's not a lot of women's competitions going, we managed to surprise a lot of people by winning against Wales and that brought hope for women's rugby in the country.
How has women’s rugby in South Africa changed since playing in that first World Cup? It has taken a huge leap. Support is better thanks to the media coverage for marketing and more girls want to play. We have school and club leagues played which is a huge benefit to the game.