Springbok Women player Maria Tshiremba.

Springbok Women’s player Maria Tshiremba. Photo: SA Rugby website.

Paris bound: Springbok Women’s Sevens secure Olympic dream

The Springbok Women Sevens team were crowned champions of Africa and in doing so, booked their place to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Springbok Women player Maria Tshiremba.

Springbok Women’s player Maria Tshiremba. Photo: SA Rugby website.

Their aim was to win the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Olympic Qualifier and secure their spot in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and that is exactly what the Springbok Women’s Sevens team did in Tunisia on Sunday. 

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They won the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens crown by beating Kenya by 12-7 in a tightly contested final. 

Earlier on the day, the South Africans won their semi-final against Zambia by 31-0.

The victory in Monastir was the Springbok Women’s Sevens side’s second this year after also winning the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Stellenbosch a few months ago, booking their spot as a core team on the new HSBC SVNS series.

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Head coach Renfred Dazel said he is proud of and will be forever grateful to his team for the effort to put in to realise this collective dream.

“I feel so happy for the players who worked so hard to achieve this – we were denied in 2016 and 2020, but this time it is official, and it’s such a great feeling,” said Dazel.

“It is huge for our system, and it is huge for women’s rugby in the country overall,” he said.

“There will be more opportunities now for girls to come and play rugby, so winning this weekend was immense for the women’s game. The future looks bright.”

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One of the Springbok Women’s Sevens players who was denied Olympic qualification in 2020, Nadine Roos, said there is relief to know they have now booked their tickets to Paris next year.

“The dream came true, and what makes it even better is the fact that our hard work over months was rewarded today,” said Roos.

“This is a huge boost for our system and to our management. They deserve a huge thank you, too. We came well prepared, and as in the Challenger Series, we finished top.”

“We want to be role models and pace setters for others to follow, and this win shows us that we are on the right track. We made it hard work out there today, we are a better team than this, but credit to Kenya, who wanted it desperately as well.

“But we can now put this one behind us as another successful mission completed and start looking at the next challenge, the World Series. Exciting times indeed.”

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Springbok Women's Sevens side
The Springbok Women’s Sevens side celebrates their Olympic qualification.