Tough draw for Zim 7s in PE

HARARE - Zimbabwe received a tough draw when they were drawn with Australia, Argentina and Portugal in Pool A for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Sevens in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

The Cheetahs left for the third leg of the HSBS Sevens World Series yesterday with some optimism following their third place finish at the Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Africa Cup Sevens in Harare last week.

However, in South Africa, Gilbert Nyamutsamba’s men face a much sterner test against Dubai leg runners-up Australia as well as the Argentinians and Portuguese, both seasoned campaigners on the circuit.

Zimbabwe, a non-core member of the series, participate in just three legs of the nine-legged circuit – which takes teams to nine different cities across the world. 

“There is no secret, this is always a very competitive tournament,” Zimbabwe coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba acknowledged yesterday.

Meanwhile, selectors have made two changes to the squad that played at the Car Sevens in Harare, with speedster Kuda Chiwanza and new University of Johannesburg recruit Hilton Mudariki replacing Gardner Nechironga and Riaan O’Neill.

Veteran Jacques Leitao will captain the side, deputised by the young Mudariki.

“From the make-up of our side you can see that we are trying to give as many youngsters as possible a chance ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens,” said Nyamutsamba.

“The Africa Cup was our first tournament since March and that tournament showed us that we have a number of areas we need to work on.

“Hopefully this tournament will give our players the exposure and experience that is necessary for them to excel. Fitness has not been a problem for us, it has all been down to lack of game time. This is obviously an opportunity for us to gel. We are obviously going to do our best out there.”

The 2014-15 season carries added significance as the top-ranked sides after the ninth and final round in London in May 2015 will qualify directly for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

Squad: Jacques Leitao (captain), Fortune Chipendu, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Njabulo Ndlovu, Stephan Hunduza, Boyd Rouse, Wes Mbanje, Graham Kaulback, Kilvan Magunje, Shayne Makombe, Hilton Mudariki, Kuda Chiwanza.

Comments (1)

All the best guys...we're with you all the way.

K.B - 11 December 2014

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