SOUTH African Super Rugby franchises, the Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs, will play for the Lafarge Zimbabwe Champions Cup at a venue yet to be confirmed in Harare, on February 6, the event organisers, Kyros Sports, said yesterday. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The high-profile pre-season friendly, which will see South African Super Rugby teams playing on Zimbabwe soil for the first time, is being organised by the local sports management company, Kyros Sports.
Former Zimbabwe youth international Kisset Chirengende, the founder and director of Kyros Sports, said besides taking part in the Lafarge Zimbabwe Champions Cup, the two South African sides would also take part in various activities such as conducting a clinic for young players.
“Both teams will carry out a number of coaching clinics, fan-signing activities and there will also be a match activation dinner on Friday February 5. Experienced Test referee Jaco Peyper will be the man with the whistle at the match,” Chirengende said.
“The teams will also spend some time in Victoria Falls. The Bulls will be in the country from January 29 to February 7,” he said.
Chirengende said he was hopeful the visit by the South African giants would help stimulate the growth of rugby in Zimbabwe, where the game has struggled to realise its full potential due to lack of funding.
Last year, Kyros Sports also organised the highly successful Dairibord Kyros Rugby Academy Week, which saw former All Blacks player and coach John Mitchell, ex-Springboks head coach Peter de Villiers holding coaching clinics in the country.
“We are very grateful to these two franchises for agreeing to come and play in our country and add to the already-rich rugby tradition locally. Kyros Sports’ main objective for this tour is to stimulate growth of the local game at grassroots level, as well as all the other levels,” Chirengende said.
“We believe if young players interact with some of their world cup or super rugby heroes, that is bound to motivate them further.”
While the match venue is yet to be confirmed, the Harare Sports Club cricket ground and rugby fields, Police Grounds, as well as the National Sports Stadium are being mooted as possible venues.