The Springbok Women will face the world-famous and star-studded Barbarians Women in Cape Town in two weeks’ time, while also playing Test matches against Kenya and Samoa as part of their preparations for the WXV 2 tournament in October.
The South Africans will open their warm-up campaign with a Test against African opponents Kenya – who are playing in WXV 3 in Dubai in October – at the University of the Western Cape on Saturday, 16 September, before facing the famous black and white hoops at Athlone Stadium a week later.
The Springbok Women will then face Samoa, one of their opponents in the inaugural WXV 2 tournament, on 7 October at Boland Stadium in Wellington to conclude their preparations.
Their three WXV encounters are against Scotland at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 13 October, Italy at Athlone Stadium on 20 October and Samoa, also at Athlone Stadium, on 27 October.
SA Rugby’s High-Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby, Lynne Cantwell, welcomed the news of the Baabaas’ visit.
“We were truly honoured when invited to play the Baabaas at Twickenham at the end of 2021 and although after-effects of the COVID pandemic at the time impacted on the game, we still played them with close to 30 000 people in attendance, the highest spectator count for a women’s game at the time,” said Cantwell.
“They come with a team that will be packed with international experience and class and their presence in Cape Town will be a massive boost to the exposure of the WXV tournament. This is going to be an historic and very meaningful match for women’s rugby in the country and continent.”
Barbarian Women team founder and Barbarian Committee member Fiona Stockley said: “I am absolutely thrilled to get Barbarian Women back on the road. Two years on from our historic match at Twickenham against the Springbok Women, it will be very exciting to go down to Cape Town for the return fixture – a city with so much passion for our game.”
It will be a packed rugby cycle for the Springbok Women, currently in camp in Potchefstroom. They will play the Mastercard Golden Lions Women in a warm-up match in Johannesburg on Saturday and will also face USA-based club, the San Clemente Rhinos, on 19 September at Helderberg Rugby Club in Somerset West.
“We needed some games in order to be best prepared for the WXV and I think these matches will provide a good foundation to our squad’s preparations,” Cantwell explained.