New Look Cheetahs squad for World Cup qualifiers

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Cheetahs captain Kudzai Mashawi CREDIT: Charmaine Chitate

The Cheetahs technical department has kept faith with their new-look squad ahead of the Rugby Africa Sevens in Uganda this weekend.

Zimbabwe is one of the 14 nations who will take part in the continental tournament slated for Saturday and Sunday at the Kyadondo Rugby ground in Kampala.

The tournament is serving as the qualifier for the Rugby World Cup Sevens, with the top three teams set to book their tickets to the global tournament to be held in Cape Town, South Africa in September.

There were calls for changes to be made to the squad ahead of the continental qualifiers following the Cheetahs’ surprise loss against Spartans, a Botswana-based side comprising of expatriate Zimbabwean players in the semi-finals of Zambezi Sevens Challenge at Harare Sports Club recently.

However, the technical department has refused to tinker with their plans and have backed the players who have been part of their high-performance programme which started late last year.

Harare Sports Club centre Kudzai Mashawi will lead the squad with wing Kudakwashe Chiwanza and utility back Tadius Dzandiwandira the other experienced members of the team.

In the absence of head coach Graham Kaulback, the Cheetahs will be mentored by assistant coach Ricky Chirengende.

The Cheetahs will open their campaign with a first-round match against West African minnows Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso return to the elite African tourney after failing to qualify for the 2019 edition. The West African nation finished third in the regional qualifier back then but they return this year, having earned the silver medal at the Paa Joe Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana.

Zimbabwe Cheetahs: Kudzai Mashawi (captain), Jerry Jaravaza, Kudakwashe Chiwanza, Vuyani Dlomo, Ryan Musumhi, Godfrey Magaramombe, Prince Ncube, Carlos Matematema, Munesu Muneta, Nigel Tinarwo, Tadius Dzandiwandira

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