Sables abort Bulawayo camp

HARARE - Zimbabwe XVs senior men rugby side has aborted their training camp in Bulawayo scheduled for this weekend owing to financial constraints.

The underfunded Sables had hoped to use the camp to fine-tune and condition for next year’s Africa Cup campaign where they got a lifeline by remaining in the topflight Group 1A following a resolution not to relegate but to promote two teams from Group 1B.

The Sables finished bottom of the log after in an indifferent campaign that saw them losing all their three matches against Kenya, Namibia and Uganda.

However, Zimbabwe were spared the axe as Tunisia and Senegal where promoted from the lower division.

The Sables will now begin their 2017 Africa Cup Group 1A campaign away to Senegal on June 24 and then travel to Namibia on the July 15.

They will be home to Kenya on July 22, and home to Tunisia July 29, before travelling to Uganda on the August 5.

It is not yet clear if the Sables will get more games next year with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) saying they are working flat out to get more games.

“We’ve tried to run around to secure some form of funding; the team manager has been chasing hard of potential partners but hasn’t been successful so that leaves us without any choice but to call off the weekend programme scheduled for Bulawayo,” Sables coach Cyprian Mandenge said.

“All hope is not lost though and we are hopeful we will be able to hold such camping in the not so distant future.”

ZRU vice president Noddy Kanyangarara last Sunday admitted that the union found itself in a difficult position.

He admitted Zimbabwe needed to be prepared for the 2018 core status, 2020 Olympics for both men and women.

“Dates for Sables are out and we need to start working now,” Kanyangarara said at the ZRU indaba.

“Sables started training two weeks ago and they are training and they are in Bulawayo next week and Mutare early next year. They are already working. Conditioning does not start when you get funding from union to go to the gym.

“...let’s be innovative and try things that make us fit, Ugandans and Kenyans don’t have a lot of resources but its commitment not just players but everyone at Zimbabwe rugby union.”

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