Nedbank Zimbabwe continues to cement its relationship with local rugby after being confirmed as the title sponsors for the Rugby Challenge Cup which gets underway this weekend.
The commercial banking institution made its first entry into local rugby last year when they were unveiled as the Sables’ headline sponsors ahead of last year’s Rugby Africa Cup in a long-term partnership whose goal is to help Zimbabwe qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
The Nedbank Rugby Challenge Cup which will feature six local teams will mark the return of domestic men’s 15s rugby for the first time in more than two years.
In a statement on Monday, the Zimbabwe Rugby Union revealed that the competition will be used by the Sables technical team headed by Brendan Dawson to scout for talented players ahead of the Goshawks’ participation in the Currie Cup First Division in South Africa.
“Zimbabwe Rugby Union in partnership with Harare Province and the Sables Trust are pleased to announce the Challenge Cup starting on the 19th of February. Six teams will play three rounds of matches with the top two teams playing in a final on the 12th March 2022,” ZRU said in a statement.
“Games will also be used as preparation and selection of the Goshawks Select participating in the Currie Cup (First Division) in March 2022. All local players have an opportunity to be looked at by the Sables head coach and selectors.”
“The participating teams include Old Georgians, Old Hararians. Harare Sports Club, Southern City, Manicaland Select and Bulawayo Select Please note due to the interest from other teams/clubs we will look to rotate the worst performing team for the next round of fixtures to ensure all players get an opportunity,” ZRU said.
The first two rounds will be hosted by Old Georgians with the third round of fixtures and the finals to be confirmed in due course.
This weekend’s Nedbank Rugby Challenge fixtures will run concurrently with the Paramount Garments U20 League which will be entering Week 3 on Saturday.