The Zimbabwe Sevens national rugby team, the Cheetahs, went into camp on Monday ahead of the start of Confederation of African Rugby Sevens tournament to be played at Prince Edward School on November 29 to 30.
The Cheetahs technical team headed by Gilbert Nyamutsamba last week named a strong 18-man training squad for the regional tournament which will see South Africa sending its Blitzbokke side while Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Namibia, Botswana and Uganda have confirmed their participation and will start arriving on Thursday.
Nyamutsamba told zimbabwerugby.com in an interview that fly half Lenience Tambwera, who plays for the Valke in South Africa, will no longer be coming for the tournament after failing to recover from an unspecified injury suffering an injury sustained a few weeks ago.
“The Cheetahs camp started today (Monday) and everyone is in as expected except for LT (Tambwera) who will not be part of the team because of injury. However we have called in a bigger squad this time around to try and accommodate such mishaps, so this means that we will have cover for him definitely but it’s just sad not to have him in the squad.” He said.
Players plying their trade outside the country flew in over the weekend and straight away got down to business.
“Gardner Nechironga, Njabulo Ndlovu, as well as other foreign based players are here already and they were part of the fitness tests that we held this morning. “he said.
“The Summer Series provided us with an opportunity to pick out a few locally based youngsters who are good enough to be part of the team this weekend. The aim is to blend the experienced guys with these younger players so that we have a team that can compete and win games for us. That is why we called in a big squad into camp, we will then on Thursday trim down to the final 12 men team that will represent the country,” he added.
Jacques Leitao, who had a good game when his club Old Georgians beat their rivals Harare Sports Club last week in the Summer Series, will most likely be retained as skipper of the side.
Cheetahs’ training squad: Jacques Leitao, Fortune Chipendu, Gardner Nechironga, Stephan Hunduza, Hilton Mudariki, Taku Kamudire, Taddy Hwata, Lenience Tambwera, Njabulo Ndlovu, Boyd Rouse, Mkulule Ndhlela, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Morgan Vangue, Graham Kaulback, Kuda Chiwanza, Lambert Groenewald, Riaan O’neill, Shayne Makombe