No one is safe: Nyamutsamba

HARARE - Zambezi Cheetahs coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba insists players must earn their place in the squad for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

Zimbabwe earned their place for the tournament to be held in San Francisco, United States after finishing in second place at the just-ended Africa Cup Sevens finals in Kampala, Uganda.

The Zambezi Cheetahs lost 10-7 to the hosts in the final at the Legends Rugby Grounds on Saturday.

Besides directly qualifying for the Rugby World Cup Sevens finals slated for July, the Zambezi Cheetahs’ team will also play in the HSBC World Rugby Series qualifier tournament at the 2018 Hong Kong Sevens.

Nyamutsamba reckoned there is still a lot of work to be done as they bid to assemble the best possible squad for the rugby showcase in San Francisco.

“When we started our preparation in January, we opened up the pool of about 65 players and right now we are working with a pool of 40 players. So anyone of those 40 players is still eligible and we are still looking at them,” Nyamutsamba said soon after the team’s return from Kampala.

“So these guys that have qualified for the World Cup does not make it easy for them to think that they will have to relax.

“We are still looking at everyone else and any player who puts his hand up and is ready to play for the nation will be considered.”

Nyamutsamba added: “What actually even makes it better for us is that we were going through a re-building phase.

“And for us to work with junior players and some senior players and actually get to qualify it puts us in better position than other teams that are still working with senior players only.

“I’m sure by the time we get to the World Cup they would have necessary experience. It is always difficult when you go through a re-building phase to then have to compete at a high level knockout tournament but I am glad that our rookies held their own to qualify.”

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