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Nyamutsamba optimistic

Zimbabwe rugby Sevens team coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba has spoken about his “perfect” Cheetahs squad for this week’s Confederation of African Rugby Africa Cup.

By Munyaradzi Madzokere

This followed the announcement of the provisional 18-man team to start camp at the Innovate High Performance Centre in Harare tomorrow.

The Cheetahs are kick-starting preparations for the tournament which they will host at Prince Edward on November 29 to 30 as they race for Africa’s ultimate rugby Sevens gong alongside 11 other African countries.

Nyamutsamba’s charges are favourites, after powerhouses South Africa and Kenya, to win the tournament and could earn a ticket to the Hong Kong World Sevens Series set for March 2015 even if they finish third behind the two core member rivals.

“As you know, we are trying to develop a lot of youngsters for the future, we have tried to mix experience and youth in the provisional Cheetahs’ squad as this is a do or die tournament. We have a lot of experience in the team but the perfect team would need to have 60% experience and 40% youth,” said Nyamutsamba in an interview with Standardsport.

“Obviously we are looking for the top prize. We are going to give our all to ensure that we win this tournament for our fans and to progress to the next level in pursuit of our goals,” he added.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union on Wednesday selected vastly experienced players in the Africa Cup squad, namely captain Jacques Leitao, utility player Gardner Nechironga, playmaker Tangai Nemadire and prop Fortune Chipendu, who all featured at the 2009 and 2013 editions of the IRB Sevens World Cup.

Exciting playmaker Lenience Tambwera leads the youth brigade in the Cheetahs’ set up alongside elusive backliner Stephen Hunduza, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Riaan O’niell and Morgan Vangue among others.

Golden Lions loose forward Lambert Groenewald is set to make his debut appearance for the sevens side, as well as Morgan Vangue, Takudzwa Kamudire and Mkulule Ndhlela.

Nyamutsamba could however not be drawn to discuss the actual composition of the team.

“To tell the truth, this is just a provisional squad which will go into camp on Monday, but there is no confirmation on the availability of the overseas-based players yet. I’m not sure who is fit or who is not. I can only have full details before the weekend ends,” he said.

Zimbabwe have been drawn in Pool A where they will contend with Kenya, Cote d’ Ivoire, Nigeria, Namibia and Uganda while Pool B pits South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, Senegal, Madagascar and Botswana.

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