THE Zimbabwe men’s sevens rugby team, Cheetahs, will begin their hunt for glory at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Chile today when they face Hong Kong.
The Cheetahs left the country for Chile last Saturday and have been preparing for the tournament for close to two months after the announcement of the final squad in June.
Zimbabwe’s rugby sevens team will compete against 11 other nations in the South American nation for the sole ticket to become a core team on the lucrative HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series next season.
After their clash against Hong Kong, the Graham Kaulback coached Cheetahs will take on Tonga and Jamaica tomorrow (Saturday).
Before their departure to Chile, Kaulback highlighted that they are expecting a competitive tournament.
“As always, it will be a very competitive tournament. We have come close in the past and we will take it one game at a time, give it our all, focus on our key processes and hopefully the outcomes will take care of themselves,’’ said Kaulback.
Zimbabwe will also use the tournament to prepare for next month’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa. Kaulback underscored that they want to name the final squad for the World Cup at the end of this month.
“We are working with a squad of about 20 players for the World Cup and we will look to name the final squad for the World Cup in August. We have Shingi Katsvere in our mix who joined us from the Sables.
“Apart from him, we are working with a majority of players who are locally based and almost 7’s specialists at this stage as is the growing “best practice” for 7s performance worldwide,’’ he said.
Zimbabwe Cheetahs: Godfrey Magaramombe, Kudzai Mashawi (captain), Vuyani Dhlomo, Munopa Maneta, Tapiwa Malenga, Jafnos Chiwanza, Pride Nyameni, Tadius Dzandiwandira, Ryan Musumhi, Shingirai Katsvere, Munesu Muneta, Nigel Tinarwo
Non travelling reserves: Keegan Cooke, Brandon Boshi, Jerry Jaravaza, Carlos Matematema, Sam Phiri
Team Management: Graham Kaulback, Ricky Chirengende, Margaret Gibson