Cheetahs chasing promotion at World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series

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Cheetahs captain Godfrey Magaramombe (second from left) with other captains ahead of the start of the two-part World Rugby Challenger Series in Cape Town today

Harare – Zimbabwe might not be ranked amongst the favourites ahead of the start of the opening event of the two-part World Rugby Challenger Series in Cape Town today, but new captain Godfrey Magaramombe reckons they can go all the way to win the two-legged competition.

Magaramombe will lead the 13-man Cheetahs squad for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series which will be played over two legs at the Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch.

The opening event runs from today to Saturday while the second event will take place from April 28-30 with the winner of the two-legged decided on aggregate points over the two events.

The winner will then enter a four-team playoff at the HSBC London Sevens in May 2023 with the winner achieving the coveted Sevens World Series 2024 status.

In an interview from Cape Town yesterday, Magaramombe said his charges will head into the competition with a positive mindset despite the odds being heavily staked against them after some disappointing results on the international circuit over the last two years.

“Obviously going into this tournament, we are aiming for gold, that’s the main objective, we have to win and we know we are capable of doing this. We just need to work on the final touch and execution and finishing,” he said.

Godfrey Magaramombe (with ball) celebrates after scoring a try for Zimbabwe against Canada at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September last year

The Harare Sports Club star said they have been working very hard in the build-up to the Cape Town tour.

“Team has been training hard prior to this tournament. We’ve tried to put in the work and also tried to perfect all the necessary things and sharpen all the basic skills to make sure we win matches. I think we are in a comfortable position to start playing. Of course, our tour is fascinating to play in, you are playing teams that you have played against before and you don’t know if they are still the same or they are changing but we are ready for any type of rugby,” said Magaramombe.

Zimbabwe will be eager to get their campaign off to a good start as they face two tough Pool A matches today against Pacific islanders Tonga (11:22 am) and Germany at (2:46 pm) ahead of their final pool match against Belgium on Friday.

Meanwhile, Pool B comprises of Chile, Hong Kong China, Papua New Guinea while in Pool C, Uganda are joined by Korea, Jamaica and Brazil.

Zimbabwe Squad

Tapiwa Malenga, Emmanuel Zangari, Vuyani Dhlomo, Ryan Musumhi, Godfrey Magaramombe (captain), Kudakwashe Nyamakura, Martin Mangongo, Munopa Maneta, Munesu Muneta, Carlos Matematema, Tadius Dzandiwandira, Nigel Tinarwo, Takudzwa Kumadiro

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