Springbok Women's Zintle Mpupha: We need to play more rugby to learn faster

Zintle Mpupha - one of two SA women playing in international rugby teams - says South African players need to play more so they can learn faster and do better.

Springbok Women's centre Zintle Mpupha. Picture: @WomenBoks/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Springbok Women's centre Zintle Mpupha has finally joined up with the squad in Paris ahead of their end-of-year Test series against France, Wales and the Barbarian Women.

Mpupha is currently playing for Exeter Chiefs in England and is one of only two South African women's players that have a professional contract - the other being teammate Babalwa Latsha who plays for SD Eibar in Spain.

The 28-year-old, who most recently broke the national try-scoring record for the Springbok Women's team in her last Test with four tries against Kenya, said on Wednesday her experience at Exeter should come in handy.

“They will have to cope with different weather conditions, amongst other things, and will have to deliver their best away from home. I am sure if we can adapt quickly as a team, things will go well.”

The Eastern Cape-born player said the experience she gained made her realise that South African players just needed more game time as they ramped up preparations towards next year's postponed Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

“It was nice to experience the different outlooks and mindsets of my teammates from other countries at the Chiefs, and the one thing I realised by talking to them was the amount of rugby they play compared to us,” she said.

“They obviously play a lot more than we do, so they have more opportunities to learn from their mistakes, become better players and grow in their roles and positions. That is something we did not have much of in South Africa, but apart from that, we think about the game pretty much the same.”

Mpupha reunited with her teammates and after an early gym session on Tuesday, the focus moved to the looming Test on Saturday, when South Africa take on France in Vannes.