South Africa win Rugby Africa Women's Cup to qualify for Women's RWC 2025

The Springbok Women join hosts England, New Zealand, Canada, France and Ireland in booking their ticket to next year's showpiece tournament after beating Madagascar in Antananarivo to successfully defend their Women's Cup title.

South Africa became the sixth team to confirm their place at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 as they beat Madagascar 46-17 to retain their Rugby Africa Women’s Cup title in style.

The Springbok Women ran in eight tries at Stade Makis in Antananarivo to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Women’s Cup and claim their third continental crown.

It means South Africa will represent Africa at Women's RWC 2025, joining hosts England, reigning champions New Zealand, Canada, France and Ireland in qualifying for the showpiece tournament.

Louis Koen’s side will also compete in WXV 2 on home soil this September and October as a result of their latest Women’s Cup success. Madagascar will make their WXV debut in the third level in Dubai, having finished the tournament as runners-up behind the Springbok Women.

"We play to inspire the next girl or woman to pick up a rugby ball and I think this win and qualifying for the Rugby World Cup will mean so much to those who want to see the game grow,” Springbok Women captain Nolusindiso Booi said.

“We are on the big stage and belong there, so the next steps are important. We laid the foundation for the next phase and it is so exciting to be part of it. Credit to the players, but so much praise must go to the coaches who prepared us so well for this.”

Ahead of Sunday’s championship decider, South Africa had never tasted defeat in the Women’s Cup.

The reigning champions had beaten their hosts 79-8 en route to the 2023 title, meanwhile, and in that context Madagascar appeared to have a mountain to climb when second row Modestine Raharimalala was sent to the sin bin in the sixth minute.

South Africa took full advantage of their numerical advantage, scoring a pair of tries through winger Veroeshka Grain and number eight Sizophila Solontsi, the first of which was converted by Jacomina Cilliers.

Sikholiwe Mdletshe added a third Springbok Women try soon after Raharimalala returned to the pitch to stretch her side’s lead to 17 points.

And Mdletshe notched her second try of the match only three minutes later, finishing well in the left corner after South Africa had turned the ball over on the Madagascan 22.

Cilliers missed the conversion, however, and the Lady Makis ate into their 22-point deficit in the 28th minute as replacement Felaniaina Jeannie Rakotoarison went over.

South Africa scrum-half Tayla Kinsey was then shown a yellow card six minutes later but any hope of a home comeback was extinguished on the stroke of half-time as Cilliers crossed the whitewash to give the Springbok Women a 27-5 lead at the break.

The second half played out to a similar rhythm as the first, and Lusanda Dumke and Rumandi Potgeiter each grabbed a try, both converted by Cilliers, to stretch the South African lead to 41-5.

In the closing 12 minutes, the vociferous home support at Stade Makis were at least given something to cheer as Marie Sophie Razafiarisoa and Laurence Rasoanandrasana scored either side of a Asithandile Ntoyanto try – South Africa’s eighth – to make the final score 46-17.


Kenya claimed third place after prop Rose Otieno and winger Diana Awino helped them to a comfortable victory with a brace of tries apiece.

Their first tries came inside the first half an hour as Kenya raced into a 15-0 lead with half-backs Anne Ochieng and Diana Omosso kicking a penalty and a conversion between them.

Madagascar, who had been punished for Irene Ngassa's yellow card, then struck back with a try of their own, scored by Marie Claire Nsie and converted by Priso Ndingo.

Full-back Hellen Achieng scored a third try for Kenya five minutes before half-time and Omosso converted as the Lionesses went into the break 22-7 up.

Awino wasted no time scoring her second of the match after the restart and Otieno followed not long after with her fourth of the tournament, Omosso converting for a 34-7 lead.

Cameroon scored 10 unanswered points in response while Kenya outside-centre Esther Juma served 10 minutes in the sin-bin – after her second yellow card in as many matches.

Ndingo's penalty was followed by a try for flanker Teclaire Marlyse Endalle Nkouane, which Mimosette Mouto converted.

However, Kenya had the final word when second-row Faith Livoi scored with less than a minute left on the clock.

Last updated: May 12, 2024, 7:45:40 PM
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