Zimbabwe name Rugby World Cup Sevens squad

Cheetahs players in a huddle during the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Chile four months ago

Zimbabwe rugby sevens head coach Graham Kaulback has named his final squad for the 2022 Rugby Sevens World Cup.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens will be played at the Cape Town Stadium in South Africa from September 9 to 11.

Kaulback has made two changes two the side which finished eighth out of 12 nations at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Santiago, Chile a fortnight ago.

Poland-based utility player Sam Phiri, who was named amongst the reserves for the trip to South America has bounced back into the final 12-man squad which will represent the country in Cape Town.

Sam Phiri of Zimbabwe in action during the World Rugby Sevens Repechage match between Zimbabwe and Mexico on June 18, 2021 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Giorgio Perottino – World Rugby/Getty Images)

The former Western Province star replaces Harare Sports Club star Tadius Dzandiwandira, who has dropped to the non-travelling reserves.

Exciting Botswana-based sweeper Pride Nyameni, who made his debut in Chile has also dropped to the non-travelling reserves. He has been replaced by ex-Junior Sables star Carlos Matematema.

Experienced Harare Sports Club star Kudzai Mashawi will lead the Zambezi Lager-sponsored Cheetahs, who will be making their sixth World Cup appearance, having previously qualified for the 1997, 2001, 2009, 2013 and 2018 editions of the tournament.

The Cheetahs, who are seeded 23rd in the 24-team tournament will face 10th seeded Canada in a pre-round of 16 fixtures on the opening day of the event September 9.

The winners of the qualification round involving teams seeded from nine to 24 progress to the round of 16 where they will take on the top eight seeds, while the losers drop down into the consolation Bowl competition that will decide positions 17 to 24.

An upset win over Canada and the Cheetahs advance to face No. 7 France. The winner of that match could see Australia in the quarterfinals.

The Zimbabwe side finished 23rd out of 24 teams at the last Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 in San Francisco. Their best result was a 17th place finish in 2009.

Cheetahs squad for Rugby World Cup Sevens: Kudzai Mashawi (captain), Godfrey Magaramombe, Vuyani Dhlomo, Munopa Muneta, Tapiwa Mulenga, Jafnos Chiwanza, Carlos Matematema, Ryan Musumhi, Shingirai Katsvere, Sam Phiri, Munesu Muneta, Nigel Tinarwo

Non travelling reserves: Keegan Cooke, Jerry Jaravaza, Pride Nyameni, Tadius Dzandiwandira

Head coach: Graham Kaulback

Assistant coach: Ricky Chirengende

Team manager: Tafadzwa Mhende

Physiotherapist: Margaret Gibson


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