The Zimbabwe Goshawks’ Victoria Cup encounter against Uganda which was slated for Kampala on Saturday has been called off a day before the scheduled kick-off following a last-minute withdrawal by Uganda Rugby Union’s sponsors.
A youthful Goshawks squad, made up mostly of Under-20 players was set to face Uganda in what was expected to be an entertaining encounter in the East African nation. The team was set under the mentorship of Zimbabwe Under-20 coach Shaun De Souza.
However, both the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) and their Ugandan counterparts announced on Friday that the match has been cancelled and efforts were being made to reschedule to a later date.
“The Zimbabwe Rugby Union regret to inform the nation that the Victoria Cup game against the Uganda Cranes scheduled for the 30th of July 2022 at the Kyadondo stadium in Kampala, Uganda has been shelved. This is due to circumstances beyond our immediate control. We however remain hopeful that this game will be played at a later date convenient to both Unions, Uganda Rugby and Zimbabwe Rugby.
“The Zimbabwe Goshawks team stands ready to fulfil the fixture should the variables at play turn out favourable for the Ugandan tour to happen,’’ read the statement from the ZRU.
While both unions did not reveal the reasons for the postponement, ZimSportLive understands that the URU’s sponsors withdrew after realising that Zimbabwe would not be fielding a full-strength side in the competition.
With most senior Sables players unavailable for selection after a long international season, Zimbabwe were hoping to use the Uganda match as the first step towards rebuilding ahead of the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
Zimbabwe is seeking to build the next Sables team around the national Under-20 side who in April won the 2022 Barthes Trophy following a 19-14 win over favourites Namibia at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.