Rising stars Tafadzwa Chitokwindo and Justin Coles are in the 19-man Cheetahs’ squad that will go into camp ahead of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens from December 3-4.
The Cheetahs have already started preparing for a daunting fixture against world rugby powerhouse, New Zealand who are in Pool B with Argentina and the USA.
The youthful locally-based players are some of the new faces in the squad together with England-based Jason Graham, while Manase Sita and Shingai Chiwara will also make a return to the side.
Chitokwindo and Coles impressed in South Africa at the Platinum and Nashua Middleburg Sevens tournaments in South Africa to convince the technical department to give them a shot.
Coles was recently in devastating form for his local club District Dragons as he led them to the league title which earned him a call-up to the Sables squad for the Africa Cup semi-finals next month.
Cheetahs’ team manager Bruce Hobson said he was confident that the experience the team gained during the tour of South Africa would come in handy in Dubai.
“Every pool in such a big tournament was always going to be tough, but obviously the All Blacks are a very strong side but we are confident that we can beat Argentina and the USA.
“We recently played a very strong South African side in Rustenburg and we gave a good account of ourselves and I’m confident that the experience we gained from there will be very helpful,” said Hobson.
The Dubai Sevens is the first of the seven-leg HSBC World Sevens series and the Cheetahs will be aiming to make an impression at the tournament as they gun for IRB core team status.
A core team takes part in all legs of the whirlwind tour which will take the teams to South Africa, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Australia, Hong Kong and Scotland. Kenya is the only African country besides South Africa which takes part in all legs.
“It going to be a process for us to attain core status but the more consistently we play well against good teams the higher chances we have of attaining that goal.
“However we hope to do better than we did last year to show that we have been making some progress,” added Hobson.
Last year the Cheetahs lost in the Bowls final to Wales.
Meanwhile, the Sables will no longer play their friendly match against a Harare select side in preparation for the semi-finals of the Africa Cup in Senegal next month.
Team manager Noddy Kanyangarara said the team would now go into camp on Monday next week ahead of the crucial assignment.
T Nemadire, D Hondo, g Mitchell, G Nechironga, J Ndebele, G Sibanda, R Dejong, W Mbanje, G Kaulback, M Rowe, J Rowe, J Leitao, F Chipendo, J Coles, T Chitokwindo, M Sita, S Chiwara, J Graham, N Ndlovu