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Zimbabwe’s sevens side in tough battle

ZIMBABWE sevens rugby player/coach John Ewing said his team have a tough battle on their hands in the second leg of the World Sevens Series in George, South Africa, next month.

a, sans-serif”>The Zambezi Cheetahs were pitted in the same pool with giants South Africa, France and Tunisia on their return to the competition this year.

“We are under no illusion at all,” Ewing said. “It’s a tough draw. We need to step up preparations and get the sort of form that we had in Europe early this year. We have to spend a lot of time together. At the moment we are training as the (Hasquivana) Academy three times a week. We are going to have a substantial training period when we go into camp in a couple of weeks.”

Ewing, a former national 15s commanding centre, believes sevens rugby is equally demanding.

“The starting point is the physique. Sevens is tough because there is a lot of space to utilise. Players have to be both fit and mobile. Our job is to identify the body and then put in the skills like passing and tackling.

“The players also need to have a rugby head and good temperament, and we see that when they are playing fifteens.”

Ewing, who retired from the 15s version in 2003, is still a key player for the sevens side. He will revert to the captain role for the World Series when United Kingdom based trainer Liam Middleton joins as technical coach before departure for South Africa.

The teams play all their three pool games on the same day (December 9). The top two teams go through to the Cup competition the following day, while the bottom two play for the wooden spoon. – Staff Writer.

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