South Africa secure return to ‘big stage’ of Women’s Rugby World Cup

Springbok captain Nolosindiso Bwe believes qualifying for the 2025 Women's Rugby World Cup could help propel the team to the “next stage” of development.

Pouille led South Africa to a 46-17 win over Madagascar in Antananarivo on Sunday, clinching a third Women's Rugby Africa Cup title and with it a ticket to England 2025 and WXV 2 on home soil later this year.

South Africa has become the sixth country to book a place in the 2025 Women's World Cup, joining England, New Zealand, Canada, France and Ireland in doing so.

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“We play to inspire the next girl or woman to pick up a rugby ball and I think this win and qualification for the Rugby World Cup will mean a lot to those who want to see the game grow,” Booi said.

“We are on the big stage and we belong, so the next steps are important. We have laid the foundation for the next stage and it is very exciting to be a part of it.

“Credit to the players, but a lot of credit to the coaches who prepared us well for this.”

South Africa capitalized on an early yellow card for Madagascar second row Modestin Raharimalala to take a 22-0 lead through tries from Werwishka Green, Sizofila Solontsi and Sikoliwe Mdletshe (two).

Substitute Villanina Jenny Rakotorison headed home the winner just before half-time at Stade Mackies, but Jakomina Selliers crossed the ball shortly after to give South Africa a 27-5 lead at the break.

Lucanda Domke and Romandi Potgieter scored tries to extend the Springbok Women's lead further in the opening 23 minutes of the second half.

Asithandile Ntoyanto crossed for South Africa's eighth attempt before the end, with her effort sandwiched between goals from Lady Makis Marie-Sophie Razafiariswa and Lawrence Rasunandrasana, much to the delight of the home fans.

“I'm very proud of their efforts today, but also in the first two matches in the tournament,” Springbok women's coach Louis Quinn said.

“It's difficult to play three games in 10 days, and it's thanks to the players who came out today and performed well. We played really well in the first half to lay the foundation for the win.

“We conceded attempts that we wouldn't normally do, but credit to Madagascar, who never stopped trying and pressing hard with huge crowds behind them.

“We can definitely learn from these spectators how to support women's rugby; they were really good today.”

Quinn echoed his captain's thoughts when he suggested his team would be better off for their experience in Antananarivo.

He said: “We have a lot of key players who are not here in this tournament, and the credit goes to the less experienced players who stepped up here in Madagascar and made sure we go to England next year.”

“Qualifying for the Rugby World Cup is a massive boost for everyone involved, and I can only thank the stakeholders, players and management who have been on this journey together. The game can only grow and get better from here.”


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