The Springbok Women arrived in Paris on Monday evening from Johannesburg via Frankfurt and awaiting them in the French capital was Mpupha, who hopped over from England, where she now plays with the Exeter Chiefs.
There were huge smiles around as Mpupha reunited with her teammates and they much to talk about during a five-hour long bus trip to Vannes, but once the Springbok Women got into match mode with an early gym session on Tuesday, the focus moved to the looming Test on Saturday, when South Africa take on France in Vannes.
“It was great seeing the team again; it was like reuniting with your family. There are many familiar faces and it have missed them,” said Mpupha, who broke the national try-scoring record for the Springbok Women's team in her last Test with four tries against Kenya.
Mpupha now hopes that the experiences she has picked up playing in England's top league will not only benefit her, but the rest of the squad as well.
“I will certainly inform them what to expect,” she said.
“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 28-year-old said the experience she has gained made her realise that her foes at home just need more game time as they ramp up preparations towards next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
“It was nice to experience the different outlooks and mindsets of my team-mates 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 added.
“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 has made her debut for her new club already and she will relay those experiences to her teammates as well.
“I have played more recent that they did and had that body-to-body contact, so I will be well-prepared and I hope I can lead the way in that regard, come Saturday,” she said.
The former Border and DHL Western Province player said she had found her feet at the club, despite the numerous new things she encountered.
“The weather is one thing, and the ability to change to the new environment was another. I am happy to say I am finding my way around it now and will certainly chat to my team mates on how to approach all the new things that will come their way on this trip,” said Mpupha.