Cheetahs brace for Sevens tournament

THE Zimbabwe Cheetahs have been drawn in the same pool as Georgia and Zambia in the Spar Sevens International tournament that is on at Harare Sports Club this weekend.

BY ALBERT MARUFU

Sevens core side Kenya are in Pool B together with Hong Kong and Zambian Warriors while Pool C comprises South African Academy, Bulls Academy and Leopards.

Zimbabwe’s second string side Goshawks are in Pool D, together with South African sides Buffaloes and Pumas.

Cheetahs coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba said they would use the tournament to fine-tune the team ahead of the HSBC Hong Kong Sevens World Qualifier that will be played in two weeks’ time, as well as the June’s Sevens Rugby World Cup.

“Last time we failed to gain core status by a whisker. We have been preparing for this tournament with the World Cup and the Hong Kong Sevens Series in mind. We really want to attain core status at the Hong Kong Series as well as to do well at the World Cup,” he said.

Nyamutsamba added that it is after the Spar International Sevens tournament that he will come up with the final travelling squad for the Hong Kong Sevens World Series Qualifier and the Sevens World Cup in Russia.

“I am happy with the huge interest that has been shown by a number of players who are eager to play for Zimbabwe. This means we now have a bigger player base to choose from. A team of 15 players will go into camp on Tuesday. Three players who will have failed to make it will be dropped to the second tier team, the Goshawks,” said Nyamutsamba.

Nyamutsamba also said the team’s chances of realising their dream of earning core status in Hong Kong where they are in the same pool as Mexico, Cook Islands and Russia looked bright.

“Mexico, whom we play in the opening game in Hong Kong, are an unknown quantity so they will be tricky. We will just keep to our game plan. Russia will be difficult because they will be hosting the world Cup later,” he said.

For the World Cup which will be played in Russia from June 28-30, the Cheetahs were drawn in the same pool as longtime rivals Kenya, Samoa and Philippines.

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