Junior Sables gear  for Barthes Trophy

THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) is confident they will give fans a memorable experience when the country hosts matches for the 2019 edition of the Barthes Trophy this month.

The Junior Sables have been placed in Group B that also has the Ivory Coast, Morocco and Madagascar.
All the Group B matches will be held at the Machinery Exchange Stadium at Harare Sports Club.  

The Junior Sables will take on Ivory Coast at 2pm and Morocco face Madagascar on the same field at 5pm on April 17.
Harare Sports Club will host the remaining two fixtures on April 20 with the losers from the first round taking on each other at 10am while the winners from the first matches go head to head at 12pm.

The Barthes Trophy comprises 12 teams, it is the only Rugby Africa junior tournament, Namibia are the defending champions after winning the event last year on superior aggregate.
This year’s edition is composed of three ranking-based groups in which each team will play two matches.
For Zimbabwe success will mean promotion from Group B to the Group A.

ZRU vice president Losson Mtongwiza is upbeat about Zimbabwe’s possibility of qualifying.
“Judging from the level of commitment and the serious competition we have had in the Harare Provincial Under-20 league I am sure we have a good chance of being promoted this year,” he said.
“The calibre of players we have produced have had senior national team coaches looking at the boys and I have no doubt that the team’s management will continue their fine performance.”

Rising Sables stars have risen from the ranks straight from the Under-20 set up with the likes of Matthew Mc Nab, Jeremiah Jaravaza and Cleopas Kundiona getting their first Test caps in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup last year.

The Junior Sables will be led by coach Bob Mahari and Jeffrey Madhake, who are the same coaching pair that have led local Under-21 champions Pitbulls to three consecutive titles.
Mahari and Madhake have formed a wonderful chemistry at the club which has also not tasted a defeat or a draw during that illustrious three years.

Meanwhile, Barthes Trophy commences today with two Group A matches taking place in Nairobi, Kenya where Namibia tackle Senegal and Tunisia face the hosts.

The winner of Group C will be promoted to Group B, the winner of Group B will be promoted to Group A, the loser of Group A will be relegated to Group B, the loser of Group B will be relegated to Group C, and the loser of Group C will vacate their slot for a new team in 2020.

Group C matches will take place in May and will be hosted in Uganda where the hosts will take on Ghana followed by a clash between Algeria and Zambia.

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