By Alison Donnelly.
South Africa have stepped up their World Cup preparations with the selection of 27 players to attend a national training game at Cape Town at the end of the month.
The camp, which takes place from the 28 October to the 1 November, is to ensure that the players start to focus on the 2010 competition and offers an opportunity for head coach Denver Wannies to see his players in action in a camp setting.
He said that special focus will be given to conditioning work while the fitness levels of the squad will also be assessed.
This will be the first camp in preparation for the Rugby World Cup, he said.
We identified a few areas where I think the players and we as a team came short during the Nations Cup in Canada and hopefully well use this camp to iron out those shortcomings.
Though South Africa failed to record any victories during the recent Nations Cup in August, they showed plenty of resilience throughout their four games and proved that they could be competitive at the World Cup.
South Africa and France played to a 17-17 draw, but they suffered three defeats against host Canada (35-17), USA (39-0) and England (25-0).
The conditioning of our players will be our main focus. We also intend to study the athletic make-up of our players. If we compare ourselves to that of England, the USA or France, you will realise that their players are far better conditioned than our players, Wannies added.
Well also be focusing on rugby specific training. The breakdown area as well as the set-piece is something were going to drill into our training sessions at camp. Weve got skilful players in South Africa, but we need to focus on combining our skills with our game plans if we are to be successful at next years Rugby World Cup.
South Africa made their World Cup debuts in 2006, but failed to win a match at the 12-team tournament in Canada. There are signs that they will be far more competitive at the 2010 event which takes place in London from 20 August to 5 September.
Womens Training Camp Squad:
Blue Bulls: Onnica Moaga, Ilse van Staden, Izan Nieuwoudt, Pulane Motloung, Yolanda Meiring.
Boland: Natasha Hofmeester.
Border: Fundiswa Plaatjie, Mandisa Williams, Portia Jonga, Ziyande Tywaleni.
Eastern Province: Cebisa Kula, Charmaine Kayser, Donna Sidumbu, Lamla Momoti, Lorinda Brown, Nomathamsanqa Faleni, Phumeza Gadu, Saloma Booysen, Zandile Nojoko, Zenay Jordaan.
Free State: Marilize Jordaan.
Griffons: Nombulelo Mayongo.
KZN: Dolly Mavumengwana.
Mpumalanga: Nonkasa Fisiwe Zwane.
Western Province: Aimee Barrett, Cherne Roberts, Nosipho Poswa