ZIMBABWE Sevens rugby team coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba will cast his net wider by considering deserving players from all the country’s provinces as he bids to build a formidable squad capable of qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in the US. BY SPORTS REPORTER
According to a statement released by Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) last week, Nyamutsamba, who was reinstated as Cheetahs coach late last year, will spearhead the establishment of strong development structures around the country to create a pathway for players to excel internationally.
“The National Sevens technical team led by the head coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba has set up structures in line with the ZRU, and its strategic plan is to cast the selection net wide to all corners of the country and tap into every possible pocket of rugby talent,” said ZRU.
“The technical team is determined to expand the game in the country’s provinces and accommodate the tremendous increase in the number of teams and players who want to play sevens rugby. Sevens rugby has real momentum in the country, with most players playing for fun and enjoyment with their friends and teammates while there also is the real opportunity for some players to become Cheetahs players, which is very exciting given the number of international tournaments and the looming prospect of the Sevens World Cup.”
The Cheetahs, who will not compete on the HSBC Sevens World series this year after a dismal Africa Cup campaign in Kenya last year, recently received a boost following the launch of the Kwesé Victoria Falls Sevens.
This year’s edition of the tournament which will feature eight yet-to-be confirmed national teams will take place at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls from March 18 to 19.
In the lead up to the high-profile tournament, a series of tournaments are being organised in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo and Gweru where regional selectors and provisional coaches will identify players who will be invited for a training camp set to begin on March 4.
A final selection game where the Possibles take on the Probables has been set for March 12 at a venue yet to be confirmed where a squad of 18 players will be selected for the one-week camp in Harare and in Victoria Falls before the announcement of the final 12 players to represent Zimbabwe in the Kwesé Victoria Falls Sevens.