Super Rugby comes to Zim

HARARE – Zimbabwe rugby fans are set for a Super Rugby spectacle when the Free State Cheetahs and the Vodacom Blue Bulls hold their pre-season friendly in the country on February 6 next year.

It was, however, not immediately clear yesterday where the matches will be hosted.

It will, however, be something to savour for starved ardent rugby followers who have been coming to terms with the reality of a virtually nonexistent national rugby league and the myriad of problems besieging local rugby.

Zimbabwe is expected to give the Super Rugby sides a scenic route in preparation for the expanded Super Rugby competition which kicks off in February.

The new competition will effectively become the Super 18 with the number of teams increased from 15 to 18 with the addition of a sixth South African team in the struggling EP Kings, a team from Japan called the Sunwolves and another from Argentina mostly existing of the current group of Pumas Test players.

According to South African media, the Blue Bulls will host their pre-season training camp in the resort town of Victoria Falls starting from January 29.

The Pretoria-based franchise will then complete their week-long training camp by playing a friendly match against their rivals from the Free State at a venue to be announced in due course.

The Blue Bulls, who have won the Super Rugby competition in 2009 and 2010, are currently hard at work at their Loftus Versfeld base in preparation for the 2016 season.

They start their 2016 Super Rugby campaign away to the Stormers in Cape Town on February 27.

Blue Bulls squad:

Forwards: Trevor Nyakane, Pierre Schoeman, Lizo Gqoboka, Dean Greyling, Nqoba Mxoli, Morne Mellett, Marcel van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Entienne Swanepoel, Adriaan Strauss, Bandise Maku, Corniel Els, Jaco Visagie, Callie Visagie, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Jannes Kirsten, Marvin Orie, Nicholaas Janse van Rensburg, Le Roux Roets, Irne Herbst, Grant Hattingh, Lappies Labuschagne, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Freddy Ngoza, Nick de Jager, Arno Botha, Clyde Davids, Hanro Liebenberg.

Backs: Rudy Paige, Ivan van Zyl, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Francois Brummer, Joshua Stander, Handre Pollard, Burger Odendaal, Jan Serfontein, Daniel Kriel, JT Jackson, Dries Swanepoel, JJ Engelbrecht, Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stigling, Kafense Mahlo, Travis Ismaiel, Luther Obi, Bjorn Basson, Duncan Matthews, Divan Rossouw, Warrick Gelant.

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