Next up was the Commonwealth Games in England for the DHL Western Province speedster, who had just turned 20 at the time, and a bit further down the line, the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town.

And, having played two Test matches for the Springbok Women already, Arries was also in contention for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand after that.

A positive pregnancy test brough her rugby career to a halt though and last December, Arries gave birth to Tatum, or her “little princess” as she referred to her daughter on Monday as she was about to board a flight to Dubai.

Arries is on her way to the UAE after being included in the Springbok Women’s Sevens ‘A’ side that will contest the International Invitational Dubai Sevens competition, having slowly made her way back to a career halted by motherhood.

That included an extended run with DHL Western Province in the Women’s Premier Division, and then a call up to the Springbok Women’s Sevens training squad a couple of months back.

“The comeback was an interesting one for me – I had a lot of catching up to do, especially running,” Arries explained on Monday.

“As you can imagine, you don't run that much when pregnant, but the upside was that I felt stronger physically when I came back. So now it is about getting to the fitness levels demanded by sevens and to use every opportunity that comes my way to get back into the World Series team and add another cap to the one I got in Toulouse.”

Smiling faces about to board a flight to Dubai.

Smiling faces about to board a flight to Dubai.

Arries will be joined in the ‘A’-side by Kemisetso Baloyi, Shona-Leah Weston, Snenhlanhla Shozi and Zandile Masuku, who all have played for the Springbok Women’s Sevens before, while Marli Meiring, Elitha Sylvester, Ankia Viljoen, Antonecia Hannies, Gaamiela Josephs, Ruzanne George and Vianca Boer are travelling abroad for the first time.

“We have a good mix in the squad and I think if we implement what we worked on, we will do well,” said Arries.

“We do play strong teams, but all of us want to be in the national team, so we will be doing our best to show the coach we can be trusted with the game plan and execution.

“Also, I now play for a bigger purpose, I play for Tatum too. It will be the first time I am away from her for a week, so it will be tough. As are the times in camp, when I cannot be with her, but I am prepared to make those sacrifices, many mothers have done that in the past. I still have my dreams as a sportswoman, how to achieve those and create a better life for my daughter.”

Springbok Women’s Sevens ‘A’ fixtures (SA times)

Friday 1 December:
13h00: Australia A
16h00: Rhino Select
17h40: Tabusoro Angels

Saturday 2 December
17h20: Poland

Springbok Women’s Sevens ‘A’ squad:

Kemisetso Baloyi (Bulls Daisies)
Shona-Leah Weston (San Clemente Rhinos)
Marli Meiring (Bulls Daisies)
Elitha Sylvester (DHL Western Province)
Ankia Viljoen (DHL Western Province)

Antonecia Hannies (SWD Eagirls)
Snenhlanhla Shozi (Border Ladies)
Gaamiela Josephs (Boland Dames)
Ruzanne George (EP Queens)
Vianca Boer (Leopards Women)
Alichia Arries (DHL Western Province)
Zandile Masuku (Border Ladies)