Strong Cheetahs squad named for World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series

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Cheetahs players celebrate after qualifying for the Rugby World Cup Sevens to be staged in Cape Town in September

Zimbabwe rugby sevens coach Graham Kaulback has named an experienced squad for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, which will be played in Santiago, Chile from August 12-14.

The Cheetahs, as the national rugby sevens side is affectionately known, are bracing for a busy international schedule next month.

They will feature in the World Rugby Challenger Series event where they will be seeking to clinch the one ticket on offer to gain promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.

After the trio to South America, the Cheetahs will immediately turn their attention to the  Rugby World Cup Sevens to be played in Cape Town from September 9 to 11.

The Cheetahs’ last outing was back in April when they sealed qualification for the Rugby World Cup Sevens by finishing as losing finalists in the Rugby Africa Cup Sevens in Uganda in April.

Ahead of the trip to South America, Kaulback has named a formidable squad which is led by experienced Harare Sports Club back liner Kudzai Mashawi.

Spain-based wing Shingirai Katsvere, who was part of the Sables squad which missed out on qualification for next year’s Rugby World Cup, will be one of the key players for the Cheetahs as they hunt for glory both in Chile and South Africa in the next few weeks.

Pride Nyameni was named the Player of the Tournament after the inaugural Zambezi Sevens Challenge at Harare Sports Club in April

Headlining the new faces in the squad is the exciting Botswana-based scrum half Pride Nyameni, who is finally set to make his Cheetahs debut in Chile.

The 23-year-old Mbare-born star, who plays for the Botswana club Spartans RFC, earned his call-up after putting on some brilliant individual performances during the Zambezi Sevens Challenge played at Harare Sports Club in Harare in April.

The Gaborone-based Spartans side, which knocked out the Cheetahs in the semi-finals of their home tournament, is made up of expatriate Zimbabwean players based in Botswana.

Former Zimbabwe youth international Tapiwa Mulenga is also set to make his international debut for the Cheetahs, while twin brothers Munesu and Munopa Maneta have earned their places back in the squad.

The Cheetahs are in Pool B of the World Rugby Challenger Series alongside Hong Kong, Tonga and Jamaica, while hosts Chile have been paired with South Korea, Papua New Guinea and Georgia in Pool A.

Pool C features Germany, Uruguay, Uganda and Lithuania. The competition format replicates the Olympic Games, which sees the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams each.

The top two from each pool along with the two best third-placed teams will qualify for the quarter-finals, before the semi-finals and final decide the winners who will gain the ultimate prize of promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Cheetahs Squad: Godfrey Magaramombe, Kudzai Mashawi, Vuyani Dhlomo, Munopa Muneta, Munesu Muneta, Tapiwa Mulenga, Jafnos Chiwanza, Pride Nyameni, Tadius Dzandiwandira, Ryan Musumhi, Shingirai Katsvere, Nigel Tinarwo.

Management: Graham Kaulback (Head-coach), Ricky Chirengende (Assistant coach), Margaret Gibson (Physiotherapist).

Non-Travelling Reserves: Keegan Cooke, Brandon Boshi, Sam Phiri, Jeremiah Jaravaza, Carlos Matematema.

 

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