Cheetahs Ready For Africa Cup In Kampala

Mehluli Sibanda

ZIMBABWE begin their quest to qualify for the 2018 Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco, USA when they take to the field in the Africa Cup in Kampala, Uganda on Friday.

The Hilton Mudariki captained Cheetahs will tackle Mauritius, Botswana, Senegal and Madagascar in the group stage. In order to stand a chance of qualifying for the World Cup, Zimbabwe must be ranked in the top eight overall at the end of the pool fixtures.

Cheetahs coach, Gilbert Nyamutsamba described the preparations as having gone well with the team geared up to make the nation proud by qualifying for next year’s global showpiece.

“It has been a long journey, with so many training camps, gym sessions, road runs, players (those that are here and those who didn’t make it) made so much personal sacrifices in trying to be in the best possible condition to represent our beloved country.

I am truly honoured to lead this group of fine young man, spirits are high and I am sure the next two days my lads will give all they have,’’ Nyamutsamba said.

The Cheetahs took part in two tournaments last month as a way of fine-tuning for the Africa Cup. At the Zambia International Sevens, they were beaten in the final by the home team but got their revenge over the Zambians when they won the Maseru Sevens in Lesotho.

With Kenya deciding not to take part in this year’s Africa Cup as they have already qualified for the World Cup, the threat to Zimbabwe’s qualification is from Uganda, Namibia and Tunisia.

In 2016, the Cheetahs, under the guidance of former player Daniel Hondo had a disastrous outing at the Africa Cup staged in Nairobi, Kenya. Zimbabwe finished fifth at the tournament which was won by Uganda.

Zimbabwe Cheetahs for Africa Cup Sevens in Uganda: Hilton Mudariki(captain), Biselele Tshamala, Lucky Sithole, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Scottie Johns, Stephan Hunduza, Ngoni Chibuwe, Shingirai Hlanguyo, Njabulo Ndlovu, Hilton Mudariki, Mkhululi Ndlela, Nelson Madida

Coach: Gilbert Nyamutsamba

Team manager: Donald Mangenje         

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