Dazel has taken over from Paul Delport, who stepped down as Springbok Women's Sevens coach after Rugby World Cup Sevens in September, and will look after the team for the remainder of the year – with tournaments in Dubai and the HSBC Cape Town Sevens on their agenda – while SA Rugby is busy with the process of appointing a new coach.
None of the seven dual-coded players who were part of the Springbok Women squad at the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand will travel to Stellenbosch on Sunday, as they have been given time off, but this has given the opportunity to seven new players to attend the camp at SAS.
Ratidzo Gurajena, Vainah Ubisi (Golden Lions), Sisanda Ndela (UKZN), Leandri Lamprecht, Monique Reens (Leopards), Shaunique Alexander and Thandolwethu Hena (EP Queens) were amongst those scouted at the recent USSA Sevens and Varsity Cup Sevens tournaments, joining a group of more established players for the week-long camp.
Liske Lategan, Marlize de Bruin, Kemisetso Baloyi (all Blue Bulls), Donelle Snyders, Felicia Jacobs (DHL Western Province), Asisipho Plaatjies, Mathrin Simmers and Snenhlanhla Shozi (Border) all played for the Springbok Women's Sevens in 2022, while there is also a return for Buhlebethu Sonamzi, a stalwart of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens who missed out on most of the year’s action due to injury.
Dazel is no stranger to the Springbok Women's Sevens team, and coached them for four years before he moved to the Blitzboks coaching set-up.
“It feels like a long time ago – only Mathrin (Simmers) is left from that era, so it will be a new group of players for me, but that is the exciting part,” said Dazel.
“The aim of this camp will be to establish some depth and to try and develop a core skills base with the group. I will do some video analysis on the established players to have a look on where they need to improve, while the camp will give the new players a good feel on where they are and how much development will be needed for them.”
His experiences as women's coach were valuable at the time, but for Dazel the new stint promises to be different: “Obviously I am more mature and experienced as a coach now, but it is also clear that the women's game is picking up nice momentum. Every coaching opportunity that comes my way is a privilege and I am looking forward to the week.”
Dazel said the next camp will be in November when the squad will prepare for the Dubai International Invitational tournament and the HSBC Cape Town Sevens.
The invited players are: Liske Lategan, Marlize de Bruin, Kemisetso Baloyi (all Blue Bulls), Ratidzo Gurajena*, Vainah Ubisi* (Golden Lions), Sisanda Ndela* (UKZN), Leandri Lamprecht*, Monique Reens* (Leopards), Donelle Snyders, Felicia Jacobs (DHL Western Province), Asisipho Plaatjies, Mathrin Simmers, Snenhlanla Shozi (all Border), Buhlebethu Sonamzi, Shaunique Alexander*, Thandolwethu Hena* (all EP Queens). * denotes uncapped.