14/07/2024

Babalwa Latsha named South Africa captain

Hosts South Africa, Italy, Japan, Scotland and USA have confirmed the make-up of their 30-player squads for the inaugural WXV 2 tournament in Stellenbosch and Cape Town next month.

Following their enthralling encounter in Parma on Saturday, Japan and Italy have announced their squads for the inaugural WXV 2 tournament in South Africa between 13-28 October.

South Africa had already announced the make-up of the squad that will represent the hosts, with Babalwa Latsha set to captain an experienced group in Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

Meanwhile, Scotland coach Bryan Easson has included three uncapped players in his squad, while the USA will head to South Africa with a strong selection featuring a number of players who ply their trade in England’s Premiership Women’s Rugby.

JAPAN

Iroha Nagata will captain a Japan squad boasting 18 forwards and 12 backs in Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

Japan’s most-capped player Seina Saito has made the cut, as has Natsuki Kashigawa. The prop is the only uncapped player included in the travelling party.

Forwards: Sachiko Kato, Natsuki Kashigawa, Masami Kawamura, Asuka Kuge, Sakurako Korai, Hinata Komaki, Seina Saito, Yuka Sadaka, Kotomi Taniguchi, Ayano Nagai, Iroha Nagata (captain), Nijiho Nagata, Mio Nishimura, Sakurako Hatada, Manami Mine, Otoka Yoshimura, Mei Yoshimoto, Jennifer Nduka.

Backs: Megumi Abe, Nao Ando, Komachi Imakugi, Ayasa Otsuka, Kanako Kobayashi, Moe Tsukui, Sora Nishimura, Haruka Hirotsu, Mana Furuta, Misaki Matsumura, Kotono Yasuo, Minori Yamamoto.

ITALY

Azzurre coach Giovanni Raineri has included three uncapped players in the Italy squad that will travel to South Africa this week.

Sofia Catellani, Elena Errichiello and Nicole Mastrangelo will each have an opportunity to make their test debuts in Stellenbosch or Cape Town as Italy attempt to bounce back from their home defeat to Japan.

The Azzurre are scheduled to meet the Sakura 15s again on 13 October in the opening match of the tournament.

Squad: Gaia Buso, Beatrice Capomaggi, Sofia Catellani, Giulia Cavina, Alyssa D’Incà, Giordana Duca, Elena Errichiello, Valeria Fedrighi, Alessandra Frangipani, Lucia Gai, Elisa Giordano, Francesca Granzotto, Laura Gurioli, Isabella Locatelli, Veronica Madia, Gaia Maris, Nicole Mastrangelo, Aura Muzzo, Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, Alessia Pilani, Alissa Ranuccini, Beatrice Rigoni, Sara Seye, Michela Sillari, Emanuela Stecca, Sofia Stefan, Emma Stevanin, Sara Tounesi, Silvia Turani, Vittoria Vecchini. 

SOUTH AFRICA

Springbok Women interim coach Louis Koen has included 19 players with Rugby World Cup experience in his squad for WXV 2.

Maceala Samboya is the only player included who is yet to make her test debut. South Africa, who are missing several players through injury, open their campaign against Scotland on 13 October.

Koen said: “We have planned and prepared since we qualified to play in this tournament in Madagascar earlier this year.

“We have lost some players along the way, but that again presented opportunities to others, such as Maceala Samboya, who showed her ability in the matches against the Rhinos and Barbarians last week. We are now two weeks away from the first match against Scotland and it will be a big challenge.”

Forwards: Aseza Hele, Lusanda Dumke, Catha Jacobs, Nompumelelo Mathe, Danelle Lochner, Vainah Ubisi, Sinazo Mcatshulwa, Nolusindiso Booi, Babalwa Latsha (captain), Amber Schonert, Yonela Ngxingolo, Asithandile Ntoyanto, Sanelisiwe Charlie, Roseline Botes, Micke Gunter, Lucell Hanekom, Lindelwa Gwala.

Backs: Byrhandrè Dolf, Mary Zulu, Chuma Qawe, Veroeshka Grain, Unathi Mali, Maceala Samboya, Jakkie Cilliers, Piwokuhle Nyanda, Shaunique Hess, Libbie Janse van Rensburg, Rumandi Potgieter, Unam Tose, Tayla Kinsey.

SCOTLAND

Head coach Easson has named three uncapped players in his 30-player squad for WXV 2 in South Africa.

Fiona McIntosh, Demi Swann and Holly McIntyre could make their test debuts in the warm-up match against Spain in Edinburgh, or in next month’s tournament in Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

Evie Wills, Jenny Maxwell, Molly Wright and Shona Campbell were each ruled out of contention for the squad due to injury.

Easson said: “I’ve been really encouraged by the work-rate and effort that the squad has shown over our pre-season block, which included a lot of contact conditioning, fitness work and the opportunity to develop the style of rugby that we will be looking to execute throughout WXV.

“It’s been brilliant to welcome Fiona McIntosh and Demi Swann into the squad, while also seeing Holly McIntyre earn her place in the final selection after making her way through the pathway system.”

Forwards: Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle, Elliann Clarke, Lisa Cockburn, Demi Swann, Anne Young, Elis Martin, Lana Skeldon, Sarah Bonar, Eva Donaldson, Fiona McIntosh, Louise McMillan, Emma Wassell, Evie Gallagher, Jade Konkel, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Rachel McLachlan.

Backs: Caity Mattinson, Mairi McDonald, Helen Nelson, Beth Blacklock, Coreen Grant, Holly McIntyre, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Meryl Smith, Rhona Lloyd, Francesca McGhie, Liz Musgrove, Chloe Rollie.

USA

Paige Stathopoulos and Yeja Dunn have been rewarded for fine seasons with Beantown with a place in the Women’s Eagles squad for WXV 2.

Meanwhile, their club-mate Emily Henrich will hope to make her first appearance of 2023.

Interim head coach Milton Haig said: “I’m excited about some of the talent I’ve seen in the team and am confident we can make incremental improvements as we move forward from our time in Europe to the competition in South Africa.

“Ultimately, we want to win test matches and work our way up the world rankings. This is not only a realistic goal but an achievable one.

“It will take hard work, some resilience and confidence to execute what we train, but we are ready and willing for that.”

Forwards: Tiara A’au, Catie Benson, Charli Jacoby, Alivia Leatherman, Keia Mae Sagapolu, Monalisa Tupou, Kathryn Treder, Paige Stathopoulos, Hallie Taufoou, Evelyn Ashenbrucker, Erica Jarrell, Tahlia Brody, Yeja Dunn, Rachel Ehrecke, Rachel Johnson, Georgie Perris-Redding, Freda Tafuna.

Backs: Taina Tukuafu, Carly Waters, Gabby Cantorna, Eti Haungatau, Emily Henrich, Kate Zackary, Meya Bizer, Lotte Clapp, Autumn Czaplicki, Summer Harris-Jones, Mata Hingano, Tess Feury, Bulou Mataitoga.

© World Rugby Limited

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