For Nolusindiso Booi, now at her third Rugby World Cup (but her first as captain), there was a feeling of dejavu, but more importantly, one of silent determination for the task that lies ahead for herself and the Springbok Women, starting on 8 October.

South Africa and France will open the tournament in what promises to be the most watched women's match day in rugby's history and Booi reflected on the opportunity that this provides to her charges to lay down a solid marker for their status, not only on the global stage, but domestically as well.

"I think I appreciate this one more than the other two because I am now more mature as a person and am more aware of the road travelled for our team,” she said.

“One has to understand the significance of this tournament and how it can elevate the women's game on a global scale, but even more so, how it can promote the game back home in South Africa.

“We have often said - and we honestly believe it - that we want to touch the lives of young girls back home, that we want to show them there is a future and a place for you if you play rugby. This is our opportunity indeed.”

The Springbok Women arrived in New Zealand as a low-key participant, with only Japan and Fiji ranked lower than South Africa, while they are not given much of a chance against tournament favourites England in France in Pool C.

Booi was silently observing the other captains before reflecting on the importance of the tournament for her team.

"We know we play for our country and that is a huge honour and massively uplifting for the squad. But we need to show more than just running out there and sing the anthem,” she said.

“We need to prove to all of those who will take the time to watch us that we are indeed a team worth investing in, whether it is financially or emotionally. We get this opportunity on Saturday when there will be thousands and thousands of eyes on us."

The Springbok Women had a live training session against Scotland on Saturday and that performance fills Booi with confidence.

"We played in heavy rain and that is not something we were used to, so getting a taste of the conditions was hugely beneficial,” she said.

“We realised that we were making certain mistakes because of those conditions and that we need to adapt to execute better. Those are things on which we can work.

“What was very pleasing was the way our pack played and especially how dominant our scrum was against them. We were in total control and that was a huge boost for our confidence.

“France will bring huge intensity, but so should we. When we play as a team, we are pretty hard to contain. Our physicality is a strength, and we will be looking to use that well against France on Saturday."

The team will attend the official welcoming ceremony on Monday before getting back to the training field later in the day.

Springbok Women coach, Stanley Raubenheimer, will announce the team for the opening match on Wednesday.