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Anathi Qolo will lead a much-changed Bulls Daisies outfit when they return to action (after their second-round bye) in the 2023 SA Rugby Women’s Premier Division competition. The Daisies will visit the EP Queens at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay, on Saturday, 20 May.

Kick-off for this round three clash is set for 13h30pm.

Assistant Coach, Mandisa Williams said that the whole team is behind Qolo’s appointment as interim captain because she has displayed leadership qualities and has the experience of winning in the Eastern Cape.

“We are heading to Gqeberha with Anathi as captain, a role she will thrive in because she has been the driver of the team upfront. She has made it through the ranks, from under-18s through to under-20s. Even though she has never been a captain, we see leadership qualities in her as she continues to grow into our setup,”

“It is important for us to blend in youth with the experienced to find our balance as we will always lose a portion of our players to national duty. So to have a young captain and vice this weekend is important in building that depth for whenever we do not have Lusanda (Dumke) or Libbie(Libbie van Rensburg) with us.”

Hayden Groepes’ side is without the services of 14 of their members who are called up for national duty with the Springbok Women’s side who travel to Madagascar.

Groepes said that having so many Springboks in his side was a blessing and hopes to have more in the near future.

“We are grateful to have 14 Springboks in our setup and hopefully that number grows over the next few months, we love and want to see our players progress to the top,”

“The squad has the opportunity to test its depth during this period (that the Springboks are away) and for a few players, this is their time to put their hand up and I am excited to see them run out because they have already shown at training that they are up for it,”

Groepes’ has mixed his forward pack with new faces in the absence of his national players. Micke Günter (hooker) who featured in the victory against Border, will be flanked by Doreen Mkhabela (loosehead) and Xolelwa Diliza (tighthead) in the front row. Captain, Qolo will have a new partner in Ziyanda Ngohlekana as the pair make up the second row. Kat de Vries (blindside flanker), Sinelitha Noxeke (eight-woman) and Sophy Mashapa (blindside flanker) will line up in an all-new back row.

In the backline, Lucky Nkumishe and Lynn Subke combine as the half-back pairing.

Behind Nkumishe and Subke will be Shiniqwa Lamprecht (inside) and Unathi Mali (right) at centre with Ayanda Malinga (left) and Maria Tshiremba (right) adding pace in the wings whilst Zintle Nonkasana provides cover at fullback.

The impact squad features Sinenhlanhla Kwinana, Ralebona Lebogang, Rachelle du Plessis, Oratile Mabuza, Boitumelo Phakane, Chantel Dikgale, Marelize de Bruin, Patience Gontse Mokone, Thulisile Bukula and Anele Mgwazela, who all will be adding impetus to the matchday squad.

BULLS DAISIES vs EP QUEENS STARTING XV: 1. Doreen Mkhabela, 2. Micke Günter, 3. Xolelwa Diliza, 4. Ziyanda Ngohlekana, 5. Anathi Qolo (c), 6. Kat de Vries, 7. Sinelitha Noxeke, 8. Sophy Mashapa, 9. Mahlatse ‘Lucky’ Nkumishe, 10. Lynn Subke, 11. Ayanda Malinga, 12. Shiniqwa Lamprecht (vc), 13. Unathi Mali, 14. Maria Tshiremba, 15. Zintle Nonkasana

BULLS DAISIES IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Sinenhlanhla Kwinana, 17. Ralebona Lebogang, 18. Rachelle du Plessis, 19. Oratile Mabuza, 20. Boitumelo Phakane, 21. Chantel Dikgale, 22. Marelize de Bruin, 23. Patience Gontse Mokone, 24. Thulisile Bukula, 25. Anele Mgwazela

MANAGEMENT: Hayden Groepes – Head Coach, Mandisa Williams – Assistant Coach, Dr. Sbu Ntuli – Team Doctor, Claudette Eckard – Senior Physiotherapist, Lenel Allison – Physiotherapist, Tayla Chidrawi – Strength & Conditioning, Nokuthula Nene – Technical Analyst, Luyolo Tandani – Logistic Manager, Swazi Bisset – Partnerships Manager, Thando Manana – Women’s High-Performance Manager

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