Cheetahs can reach WC: Mudariki

HARARE – Zambezi Cheetahs captain Hilton Mudariki says the team has a strong chance of qualifying for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens finals to be held in San Francisco, United States.

Zimbabwe need to reach the final of the Africa Cup Sevens tournament to be held in Kampala, Uganda in October to secure a ticket for San Francisco.

The team received a major boost on Thursday after Delta Beverages through their brand Zambezi Lager poured in $100 000 as the side’s title sponsor.

“As players, we are grateful that Delta has come on board. They have put in a lot of money for us players on our road to qualify for the World Cup next year,” Mudariki said.

“We just hope to focus on one game at a time and hopefully get to the final which will qualify us for the World Cup but our main goal is to win the Africa Cup.

“In every rugby game obviously, the main thing is the belief that you are going to win. That’s where we have to start and believe that we are going to the World Cup and once we get that aspect right; it’s all just focusing on the little details the coaches are going to come with.

“Next week we are in camp and that’s what we are going to focus on. It’s all about taking it one step at a time.”

With the players’ welfare now going to be taken care of through the sponsorship, Mudariki said they will do their best to win the Africa Cup.

“For sure the morale is going to be high. We started off the year very good in Victoria Falls by putting in a winning performance with a lot of young guys,” the Pirates scrumhalf said.

“Now we have a larger pool of about 40 guys that are going to be fighting to be in that squad. Healthy competition is good for the squad and it’s going to make us better.”

Veteran wing Gardner Nechironga has been recalled to be part of the training squad and Mudariki is looking forward to working with the Raiders backline player.

“It means a hell of a lot. It helps me as the captain to have a few guys with a lot of experience,” he said.

“Gardner has that experience; he’s been there and done that, he’s been to World Cups and has played on the circuit. That little bit of experience he brings to the party is going to help us a lot.”            

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