ZIMBABWE senior rugby team has turned down the invitation to play Namibia in March.
The Sables, as Zimbabwe are affectionately known, were invited to play Namibia on the celebrations to mark that country’s Independence Day celebrations on March 21.
Sables Committee chairman Bongai Zamchiya said they could not accept the invitation because it would be too early in their season.
Zimbabwe will this year be defending the CAR African Cup Division 1A tournament set for Madagascar in July.
The group also includes hosts Madagascar, Kenya and Uganda.
Zimbabwe won their first continental title in Tunisia last year. The Sables will be desperate to retain their place in the continent’s top tier group as the winner of that group in 2014 will automatically qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
The runner-up from Division 1A in 2014 competition will have a second chance of making it to Rugby World Cup via the 2015 Repechage process and with South Africa automatic qualifiers via their position at New Zealand 2011, there is the possibility that Africa could have three representatives at Rugby World Cup 2015. The Sables are expected to begin their preparations for the continental competition in April with a one-off test against Hong Kong in the capital.
Official CAR 2013 Calendar
Africa Cup Division A – (Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya and Madagascar) – July 24-28 (Madagascar)
Africa Cup Division 1B – (Tunisia, Namibia, Senegal, Botswana) – June 11-15 (Senegal)
Africa Cup Division 1C – (Morocco, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Nigeria, Zambia) – June 23-29 (Ivory Coast)