Silence is deafening at ZRU

HARARE - Where is the Zimbabwe Rugby Union? Not a question you tend to hear too often, largely because nobody generally cares, so it seems.

There is slowness and lethargy in the actions and progress of the ZRU in terms of their quest to qualify for the 2015 World Cup.

With just four months to go before the crucial African Zone qualification tournament, the silence from the union is worryingly deafening.   

I have no reason to doubt the union leadership’s credentials, but their lack of urgency seems very bothersome.

The only good thing is that at least we can hear the voices of rugby lovers speaking out loud and clear on social media networks, all expressing their concern over the slow pace of  activity at Alexandra Park (ZRU’s new posh offices).

One of our biggest threats at the qualifiers, Kenya, will soon be flattening the rough edges of their game when they compete in the Vodacom Cup, having replaced South American giants Argentina in this competitive domestic tournament of South Africa.

While historically we have better rugby brains and better players, there is no substitute for good preparation, and Kenya will definitely be in better shape and better mentally prepared by the time the qualifiers come around in June.

Let’s not even talk of Namibia. They have always shown real hunger to dominate rugby on the continent. With no shred of doubt, the Namibians have been silently working on their game since Zimbabwe and Kenya exposed their defence frailties in a three-nation series in Windhoek in November (a tournament they won anyway).

What about us? What have we been doing, still enjoying festivities?

True, we don’t enjoy strong financial backing like the Namibians and the Kenyans, but I am really getting starting to get annoyed by that line now.

Why is it that the sport doesn’t get money? Is it that, like one colleague remarked to me, the administrators approach prospective sponsors with budgets that exclude the most important people, the players?

For example, what is the sponsorship package foe the NRL and how much did Old Hararians receive for winning last season’s title?

Where is the sponsorship that ZRU president John Falkenberg got everyone excited about when we interviewed him last year, and if it’s not going towards key World Cup preparations, then what purpose is it serving really.

Isn't it about time someone in rugby leadership took some responsibility?


Comments (1)

Perhaps it isn't so much a question of how we compare to the efforts of Kenya and Namibia. Zim has a history in the Bankfin tournament and Namibia tried a season in SA asa franchise and both found that playing there took more out of them than the purported benefits. ZRU's problems are deeper than the RWC alone and extend to keeping the code relevant to Zimbabweans outside of the old boy groups who habe always been excluded from it. Before you worry about one world cup tournament,consider whether the present levels of after school participation will allow us a quality of selection that will see us compete with the All Blacks in the tournament opener.

thabo - 10 February 2014

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