Zimbabwe’s national men and women’s sevens rugby sides will have an opportunity to showcase their talent on home soil for the first time this season when they feature in Zambezi Challenge set for Harare Sports Club this weekend.
Sponsored by Delta Beverages through their Zambezi Lager brand, the Zambezi Challenge will feature regional national teams; Zambia and Botswana together with their ladies and club teams.
They will be battling it out with the Cheetahs, five local club teams, four women’s teams and six junior club teams for the Title Championship.
The Cheetahs and the Lady Cheetahs are using the Zambezi Challenge to prepare for the men and women’s Africa Cup Sevens Tournaments respectively which will run concurrently and are currently slated for April 23 to 24 in Uganda and Tunisia.
April is full of events! Will you be there for these qualifications?
Avril est rempli d'évènements ! Serez-vous là pour ces qualifications ?#rugbyafrique #rugbyafrica #rugby #mens7 #ouganda pic.twitter.com/ZU8nVieJN2
— Rugby Afrique (@RugbyAfrique) April 5, 2022
Cheetahs head coach Graham Kaulback yesterday named an experienced squad for the competition as he looks to head to Uganda on a high.
A podium finish in Uganda will see the Cheetahs booking their ticket to the Sevens Rugby World Cup which will be hosted in Cape Town in September.
Kaulback said the Zambezi Challenge is among the several initiatives lined up by the Zimbabwe Sevens Rugby Committee to expose locally-based players to top level competition.
Recently the Cheetahs Academy took part in a week-long training camp at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) Rugby Sevens Academy’s high-performance programme, which is renowned for developing world class players.
Last week local players also took part in the Sable Chickens Sevens which was won by hosts Harare Sports Club.
“The objective of this tournament is in line with Cheetahs vision to develop & empower an all local national squad that will represent Zimbabwe regionally and internationally. It also champions the strategic development plan which encourages an increased level of participation in 7s rugby, which will have a direct positive impact on improving performance in the sport,” Kaulback said.
“The tournament will also be used to assist our national teams with game time in preparation for the Africa Sevens Cup in Uganda and Tunisia at the end of April 2022 where both men’s and women’s teams have qualified,” he said.
The former Old Georgians rugby player promised an “unforgettable experience” for local rugby fans.
“The Zimbabwe Cheetahs are thrilled to have the opportunity to host this event and we are confident that will put together an unforgettable experience for our players and supporters – be sure to be there to catch the action. All this will not be possible without friends of the Cheetahs namely our Silver Partner, Sable Chickens and Bronze Partner, Zambezi Lager (Delta) together with Freight World who are making these tournaments a success” Kaulback said.
Kudzai Mashawi (captain), Vuyani Dhlomo, Tadius Dzandiwandira, Prince Ncube, Tamuka Pamire, Kudakwashe Chiwanza, Munesu Muneta, Nigel Tinarwo, Godfrey Magaramombe, Ryan Musumhi, Carlos Matematema, Jeremiah Jaravaza
Head coach: Graham Kaulback
Assistant coach: Ricky Chirengende
Team Manager: Tafadzwa Mhende
Physio: Maggy Gibson