Nolusindiso Booi will lead the Springbok Women for the first time since 2018 when they take on France in their November Series opener in Vannes on Saturday in a team that blends experience and fresh talent.
The experienced Booi makes her return to the squad that also features the returning Tayla Kinsey, Babalwa Latsha and Rights Mkhari. The trio missed out on the August Test series against Kenya in Stellenbosch due to injury.
Raubenheimer also included flyhalf Libbie Janse van Rensburg and the uncapped Nadine Roos in his run-on side. It will be Janse van Rensburg’s first start, while Roos will make her debut in a starting berth.
Roos, who has played for the Springbok Women’s Sevens team since 2016, took her skills to Fifteens last year, while Janse van Rensburg, made her debut against Kenya.
Booi (24 caps) and Kinsey (15 caps) are the most experienced players in the squad and alongside replacement prop, Asithandile Ntoyanto, the only players with Rugby World Cup experience.
Front-rowers Roseline Botes and Amahle Nyoba are the other uncapped players in the squad and are in line to make their Test debuts from the bench.
Raubenheimer added that the Test against France should serve as a good progress indicator ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
“Only Zenay Jordaan, who picked up a bug last week, was not considered as she could not train with the squad in the last couple of days,” said Raubenheimer.
“I have confidence in the players selected, but there can be no doubt that we will be up against a very good side. France are in the top tier of international women’s rugby and we are outside the top ten, but be it as it may, we are determined to take as much out of this game as possible.
“We will play France again in less than 11 months when we face them as our first opponents at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and after Saturday will have a better understanding of where we are in our preparation.”
The kick-off at 16h00 (SA time) at Stade de la Rabine.
Springbok Women: 15. Eloise Webb 14. Nomawethu Mabenge 13. Zintle Mpupha 12. Chumisa Qawe 11. Nadine Roos 10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg 9. Tayla Kinsey 8. Sizophila Solontsi 7. Sinazo Mcatshulwa 6. Lusanda Dumke 5. Rights Mkhari 4. Nolusindiso Booi 3. Babalwa Latsha 2. Lindelwa Gwala 1. Yonela Ngxingolo
Replacements: 16. Roseline Botes 17. Asithandile Ntoyanto 18. Amahle Nyoba 19. Catha Jacobs 20. Ziyanda Ngohlekana 21. Unam Tose 22. Jakkie Cilliers 23. Ayanda Malinga.