A SURGE in Covid-19 cases in neighbouring Namibia has forced the cancelation of friendly matches between that country’s senior national team and the Sables.
The Zimbabwe senior national side – the Sables – were due to host the Welwitschias in Harare on 12 June before travelling to Windhoek for another game a week later on 19 June.
The Sables beat Zambia in two friendly matches in Harare last week and were hoping to build on that momentum against the Namibians.
But the surge in Covid-19 cases in Namibia has scampered those plans.
Sables team manager Jason Maritz said that they are currently pursuing alternative options after the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) stated that it was unable to fulfil the matches due to Covid-19 restrictions still in place in the southern African nation.
“The matches against Namibia are off. We were informed that contact sport in that country has been banned until the end of June as a result of a surge in coronavirus cases. We are, however, pushing for alternative options with other teams,” Maritz.
Namibia’s withdrawal comes after reports that its governing body NRU had requested Rugby Africa to postpone the Gold Cup Pool A tournament to November, as a result of the ban on contact sports in the country from June 1 to 30 due to a rise in Covid -19 cases.
The withdrawal of the Welwitschias is a blow for the Sables as they were expected to provide the ideal competition Brendan Dawson’s charges need in their attempt to win the Africa Cup and secure their ticket to Rugby World Cup in 2023.