Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE sevens captain Godfrey Magaramombe is happy with the quality in the Cheetahs side to represent the nation in the 2023 Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens tournament
The 12-team tournament, to be hosted at Harare Sports Club on September 16-17, will double as the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
After weeks of preparations, Zimbabwe Rugby Union yesterday announced a 12-member squad led by Magaramombe.
The squad is a blend of experienced players such as Hilton Mudariki, Takudzwa Kumadiro and France-based Riaan O’Neil with young bloods like Under-20 rugby sensation Shadreck Mandaza.
Speaking on ZTN’s Morning Rush hours before the team announcement, Magaramombe and his vice-captain Mudariki sounded upbeat on the strength of the training squad.
“I think most of our guys are very skilled on the field and definitely electric on their pace.
“Trying to combine those two, and then we have one or two big guys who will be there for those big hits but then those electrical and the speed into spaces is what we are trying to achieve,” said Magaramombe.
Zimbabwe will host some of the top countries on the continent that include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
The winners will qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and the second and third placed teams will get another chance in the 2024 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament featuring the runners-up from across the continents. In addition, the top two teams will qualify for the 2024 Challenger Series.
The continental rugby tournament will be broadcast exclusively on ZTN Prime, DStv channel 294.
Magaramombe said the benefits of the training camp in South Africa were priceless.
“Obviously, we needed some time off just to get more bonding during training. We have just been working on our individual and unit skills so that we can get better.
“I think that whole week was beneficial to us. At least we got to see where we needed to improve and how we can focus on that before we get into the tournament,” said Magaramombe.