France, South Africa unveil matchday squad for Rugby World Cup opener

The showpiece event will kick-off on Saturday
The showpiece event will kick-off on Saturday
©World Rugby

Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheime has unveiled the matchday squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup opener against France to be played in Auckland.

Barring skipper Nolusindiso Booi and Tayla Kinsey, the remaining 13 of the starting line up are set to make their Rugby World Cup debut including Sanelisiwe Charlie, who will make her first start since August 2021.

Experienced duo of Nolusindiso Booi and Zenay Jordaan are part of the bench with the latter set to equal the Springbok Women record of 34 Test caps currently held by Zandile Nojoko.

Eloise Webb, who missed the games against Japan and Spain due to injury starts on the bench. The spotlight though will be on Zintle Mpupha, who had a prolific year having scored 16 tries that includes a four-try haul against Namibia in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in June.

Meanwhile, France will see Céline Ferer captaining the side in the absence Gaëlle Hermet, who is recovering from a knee injury. Joanna Grisez will make her test debut on the right wing following her return from the recently concluded Sevens World Cup.

South Africa matchday squad:

15 Nadine Roos, 14 Nomawethu Mabenge, 13 Zintle Mpupha, 12 Aphiwe Ngwevu, 11 Simamkele Namba, 10 Libbie Janse van Rensburg, 9 Tayla Kinsey, 8 Aseza Hele, 7 Sinazo Mcatshulwa, 6 Sizophila Solontsi, 5 Rights Mkhari, 4 Nolusindiso Booi (captain), 3 Babalwa Latsha, 2 Lindelwa Gwala, 1 Sanelisiwe Charlie

Substitutes: 16 Roseline Botes, 17 Asithandile Ntoyanto, 18 Monica Mazibukwana, 19 Catha Jacobs, 20 Lusanda Dumke, 21 Unam Tose, 22 Zenay Jordaan, 23 Eloise Webb

France matchday squad:

15. Chloé Jacquet, 14. Joanna Grisez, 13. Maëlle Filopon, 12. Gabrielle Vernier, 11. Emilie Boulard, 10. Caroline Drouin, 9. Laure Sansus, 8. Romane Ménager, 7. Marjorie Mayans, 6. Charlotte Escudero, 5. Madoussou Fall, 4. Céline Ferer (captain), 3. Clara Joyeux, 2. Laure Touye, 1. Annaëlle Deshaye

Substitutes: 16. Agathe Sochat, 17. Coco Lindelauf, 18. Assia Khalfaoui, 19. Manaé Feleu, 20. Emeline Gros, 21. Pauline Bourdon, 22. Lina Queyroi, 23. Mélissande Llorens