Sables on fundraising mission

HARARE - The Zimbabwe national rugby team will Wednesday launch a public and corporate appeal to raise funds for the team’s defence of their Africa rugby title next month.

The Sables are the reigning champions of Africa, having won the tournament Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Group 1A tournament in Tunisia last year.

This year’s tournament will be held in the Madagascan capital of Antananarivo from July 9 to 14. The Sables’ first game will be played on July 10 against hosts Madagascar while Kenya and Uganda will also play on the same day.

The Sables will then play their final game four days later and the opposition will be determined by the outcome of the first day’s games.

This tournament plays an important role in the teams’ bid for the 2015 World Cup in England as the team that finishes bottom of the Madagascar tournament will be relegated to Group 1B and will not play a part in the World Cup qualifiers next year.

The lack of funds caused the cancellation of a pretournament trip to South Africa where a national select side would have played the Valke and Pumas.

Air tickets have been confirmed and purchased for the Madagascar. What remains outstanding in funding for additional kits, pre-tournament camp, player allowances and team assembly.

“As the champions of African Rugby and one of the most successful sports in the country, it is important for us to continue our recent success and stay in Group 1A. We are optimistic and hopeful that corporate Zimbabwe and citizens who have sport and national pride at heart will offer us the assistance that we so badly need,” Sables committee chairman Bongai Zamchiya said in statement yesterday. - Sports Writer

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