Under-19 rugby squad prepares for qualifiers


The Under-19 national rugby team is stepping up preparations for the 2010 Junior Rugby World Cup qualifiers in Ivory Coast from July 24-31.
Zimbabwe will join Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Tunisia and Morocco at the week-long tournament which is expected to give the upcoming youngsters the necessary exposure for future national team assignments.
The Zimbabwe junior team took part in the Junior Rugby World Cup in Russia in June while the Under-18 team has just returned from the Craven Week tournament in South Africa.
Under-19 head coach Brighton Chivandire said the team would go into camp this Sunday before travelling to the West African country on Wednesday.
“We hope to come back with a positive result and that is why we have already started preparing for the trip to the Ivory Coast. We will go into camp on Sunday before departing on Wednesday next week,” said Chivandire.
“Junior tournaments like the one we will be taking part in have played a huge part in the revival of our rugby and we look forward to sealing qualification again”.
Players like Sables’ new boys Brian Makamure, Takudzwa Mandiwanza, David Watson and Charles Jiji who were part of the team that went to Russia are expected to form the core of the Under-19 team.
The Zimbabwean team finished seventh at the Junior Rugby World Cup championships in Russia and also managed to beat Namibia at the Craven Week in South Africa.
Zimbabwe is regarded as a powerhouse in junior rugby and good performances in junior tournaments can only be good for the development of the country’s senior national team, the Sables.
Meanwhile, the Sables have trooped back into camp ahead of their clash with Kenya at Harare Sports Club in the Tri-Nations Victoria Cup on Saturday.