SA Rugby acting High Performance Manager Louis Koen on Sunday declared the national women’s 15s a camp in Cape Town a success.
Louis Koen said the players had made big strides in their conditioning and skills levels since the last camp in October.
A total of 46 players were invited to the camp hosted from Thursday to Sunday, which kicked off the squad’s preparations for a year-end tour to the UK in October, where matches have been lined up against the British Army and England Academy team.
“It was a successful camp,” said Koen. “The girls showed a remarkable improvement in terms of conditioning and skills from the previous camp.
“The purpose of this camp was very specific in terms of trying to make a huge step-up in the players’ conditioning, so the whole camp was geared to the educational side of things. We had the SA Rugby Women’s Youth Training Centre coaches at the camp as well, and they were also educated on the conditioning side of things to assist the players to improve that aspect of their game.
“We also took the players through a 12-week conditioning programme, and explained to them how the drills and exercises work, so that when they are home and do not have access to a gym, they can still improve their conditioning, as that is the main focus area for us in women’s rugby at the moment.”
While Koen expressed his satisfaction at the vast improvement shown by the players in the last five months, he said there was hard work ahead to reach the desired standards for the year-end tour.
“We certainly have a lot of work to do,” said Koen. “The ladies are at about 60% of where we would like them to be, but our national conditioning coach Dr Warren Adams has given them specific targets to reach in terms of their conditioning, and we will assess their results monthly with the assistance of the YTC coaches.
“Our goal for the end of the year is to get the players back on the field because we haven’t had national women’s 15s rugby for a long time, so it would be a significant step forward and great achievement to see them return to the field.”