Mphupa set for first league start

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By Harry Scott-Munro

South African centre Zintle Mphupa admitted that she was “super excited” to make her first Allianz Premier 15s start for Exeter Chiefs as her side take on Sale Sharks today at Corpacq Stadium (2pm).

Mphupa arrived from Western Province earlier this season, but a combination of injuries and international duty have restricted her to just one appearance off the bench against Saracens thus far.

“It’s been a while,” laughed Mphupa. “It’s been a bit different for me coming in injured, going through rehab and then going off on international duty, to then come back from that with an injury as well. But Saturday, is going to be the start of everything.”

Despite the obvious excitement at finally getting back out onto the field, Mphupa insists that she has to treat this weekend’s encounter as any other match.

“For myself, I have to see it as just another rugby game and, hopefully, I can perform as the team are expecting me to. I just need to focus on my roles for the team at the back of my mind.”

Mphupa also took the time to explain how she has been adapting to the systems and structures within the Chiefs setup.

“It’s totally different playing for Chiefs, especially coming back in from internationals as well. It’s a different structure that I have to adapt to, but now that I’m here, it’s something I’m looking forward to getting stuck into,” she admitted. “It’s about getting comfortable in those new structures, and I can look to take it from there.”

The talented back, however, is well aware that Sale will provide a tough test for her side this weekend and is expecting a physical challenge.

“Sale will not be an easy game. I’ve watched them play before and seen that they are a very physical team. But it’s another rugby game, so you always have to be ready for that physical challenge.”

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