Madibaz sevens star jets off to Vancouver
Madibaz sevens rugby star Eloise Webb will get another opportunity to display her skills at the highest level when she jets off to the Vancouver Rugby Festival this week.
The third-year education student at NMMU in Port Elizabeth will make her second appearance for South Africa in the Canadian tournament, which takes place from March 9 to 10.
The East London born player made her debut against Australia in the Dubai leg of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in December.
Although the South Africans suffered a 38-5 loss, the young flyhalf said the experience boosted her confidence.
“My mentality as a player changed because I realised that we are capable of playing against teams that we normally only see on television,” she said.
“We finished eighth after losing to New Zealand in the quarterfinals, but for a team that was only there by invitation and not one of the core teams, we felt it was an excellent result.”
Webb explained that eleven regular teams and one qualifier compete in each leg of the world series to make up the full complement of 12.
In April, the team will head to Hong Kong for the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series qualifier, where the winners will qualify as one of the core teams for the 2017/2018 series and also earn an entry into the final event in France this June.
Webb said the team had been training hard to improve their fitness and overall skills.
“We train three times a day and each day consists of two field sessions and gym. Our focus is not only on individual skills, but on the team as a whole.”
Despite only getting the better of the United States in their six matches in Dubai, Webb believed their progress would be evident in the coming weeks.
“I feel that we have worked hard and if we carry this forward we should do well.”
She said their 26-7 victory over the US was something positive to focus on in future matches.
“It shows that we are capable of competing against top teams on the world circuit – we just need to keep working hard.”
Caption: Madibaz sevens rugby star Eloise Webb (left) goes through her warm-up routine with Arne Rust at a training session. Webb will represent the South African team at the Vancouver Rugby Festival in Canada next week. Photo: Supplied