Booi and her team-mates are eagerly awaiting their return to the biggest stage of the game, following their last appearance at the Rugby World Cup way back in 2014.

"It is a massive relief that we can get going again at this level, because this is where we want to play at," said Booi, who will be competing in her third tournament, after being part of the 2010 and 2014 events.

"We want to compete against the best teams in the biggest competitions and they do not come bigger than this."

Booi shared her thoughts after the traditional captain's run on the day before kick-off and said the experience of visiting Eden Park was another boost to the team.

"It is a very nice stadium, steeped in history. The playing surface looks great and knowing that the stands will be packed during the opening day of matches is a boost to the team," she said.

"We want to play in front of big crowds in big stadiums and this will happen tomorrow. That is a special feeling, especially for me reflecting back to the status of women’s rugby in SA when I played in 2010 and even 2014. Women's rugby is ready to explode onto the world scene and we are part of that."

Booi said the goodwill received from everywhere, but especially South Africans, was a boost to the team: "We have received so many well wishes and messages of support already and that inspires us. We have a realistic outlook of our chances in this tournament, we are ranked 11th in the world and never finished higher than 10th.

"But I can tell you now, this is the best prepared team we have ever fielded. We are ready, there is a good core of players and all of us are ready to embrace the moment."

France will be a tough nut to crack and they have not lost in four previous encounters with the Springbok Women.

"Stats will tell you one thing, but I know the heart of this team," said Booi.

"We are here to show everyone we can also play this game, that we have the ability to compete. We have a plan against France, as good as they are. We are not running onto the field just for the sake of it."

The Springbok Women made several slow starts in Tests this year, while France have been quick out of the blocks in their matches in 2022, so it could turn ugly quickly if the SA side are not sharp from the start.

"It has been a problem yes, but the way we trained, the energy and good spirits in the team, combined with a clear vision of how to approach and execute this game makes me confident that we will make South Africa proud on Saturday," said Booi.

SA Rugby's broadcast partner, SuperSport, announced this week that all 26 RWC matches will be broadcast live on their channels, with Access package viewers also able to enjoy the heroics of the Springbok Women, as all of their matches will be re-broadcast on SS Variety 4 (Access) later in the day. Saturday’s match, for instance, can be viewed at 18h20.

Selected stats:

  • South Africa have won only three matches out of 15 at the Rugby World Cup - against Kazakhstan and Wales in 2010 and Wales in 2014.
  • Zenay Jordaan will equal Zandile Nojoko's tally of 34 test caps if she is used off the bench. Her 98 points is also the most by any player in tests, but that could be surpassed by Libbie Janse van Rensburg (96), who scored 86 of those points in 2022.
  • Zintle Mpupha could also extend her try-scoring record of 16 tries (15 test matches) if she manages to cross the French try-line.

Match details: South Africa v France
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 03h15 (SA time)
Referee: Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand)
TV: SuperSport Grandstand (live) and Variety 4 (replay at 18h20)