Speaking to Standardsport on the sidelines of a rugby coaching clinic at Mutare Sports Club, Percival Montgomery, a member of the South African Rugby Legends, said ZRU has to set up vibrant structures at grassroots levels.
The legends comprises former Rugby World Cup winning Springboks who were in the country to conduct coaching clinics.
“It is important that the Zimbabwe Rugby Union set up vibrant junior rugby programmes at grassroots level in order to build a strong base of future players who can make it to the World Cup finals,” Montgomery said.
“From what I have seen so far, Zimbabwe has got the talent. There is need to identify and develop the rugby talent at grassroots levels. This would bring more depth in the game and I can assure you that if these programmes are put in place, Zimbabwe will have a huge pool of players who can compete at the World Cup.”
Montgomery said it was a confidence booster for youngsters to mix and mingle with legends.
“We feel very humbled to be here in Mutare giving back our skills to the young kids. I feel happy that the youngsters have great potential and they have shown great enthusiasm as far as rugby is concerned. I can predict that they have huge potential in playing at a higher level.”
Other legends who graced the occasion were Carel du Plessis, Daniel Grebar, Albertus Venter, Pieter Muller and Schlak Burger.
Manicaland rugby chairman, Richard Chivandire said the coaching course was a milestone for the nation as a whole.
“We are very proud to be involved in such a great occasion. The coaching clinic is a milestone in our quest to upgrade the level of rugby in Manicaland and the country as a whole. We hope that the coaches and the young players will benefit from the skills that the legends have given us. We are going to use the knowledge that we have received for the betterment of rugby in our country,” Chivandire said.
John Economou, the marketing director from Spar, the sponsor of the clinic, said they were happy to be involved in sport.
“We are really excited to be involved in one of the country’s popular sports — rugby. As an organisation, we are very committed in participating in various initiatives like the coaching clinic that was contacted by the South Africa Rugby Legends. We will continue committing ourselves in improving various health and economic lifestyles in various communities. We are looking forward to making this (rugby coaching clinic) an annual event,” Economou said.