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Booi: 'Africa Cup is our pathway to England'

SPOTLIGHT: In an international career spanning 14 years, Springbok Women captain Nolusindiso Booi has probably seen everything that women’s rugby at the highest level can deliver.


The most-capped South African women’s player has endured highs and lows but the 38-year-old lock reckons Saturday’s opening match of the Africa Women’s Cup will be huge, even for Booi, who has played at three World Cups already.

South Africa takes on Cameroon in their tournament opener, the first of three matches they need to win to not only defend their African title but also secure their place at next year’s World Cup in England.

“This is a massive game and tournament for us, as this is our pathway to England, so there is no lack of focus on what we need to do,” said Booi.

“We don’t want to put undue pressure on ourselves, but the reality is the reality – we need to win tomorrow, but we also need to win in such a way that will create momentum and confidence for us going into the next fixture.

“All three teams want to win the tournament, so there is nothing special in just saying that. You must also believe that something I know is rooted in our mindset at Springbok Women, and something we must prove out there on the field.”

Booi is reluctant to look back at last year, when the Springbok Women won 87-0 in their first Test against Cameroon.


“A couple of us were not here last year, me included, so it will be my first outing against them,” she said.

“That result does not concern us; we are focused on tomorrow and how important a good performance will be for our campaign.”

The Bok lock will extend her national record for Test caps, but she feels that is hardly relevant: “Yes, it is nice to say you are the most capped player ever in this team, but records are there to be broken.

“I would much rather say that I was part of a memorable performance against Cameroon in Madagascar, that will be something that no one will be able to take away from this team.


“And that is what we want to do out there – create memories that will last forever, we want to show who we are as a team and what we can do,” she added.

Booi said the team also play to make people proud: “We want to inspire young girls and women to play rugby and if we play well, they might want to also start.”

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