Some of the participating teams in the BancABC Women’s rugby Tournament started trooping into the country yesterday ahead of the start of the tournament at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
South African provincial side Limpopo Bulls was the only team to pull out of the tournament at the eleventh hour due to financial problems.
“Limpopo Bulls is the only side that are no longer coming after they communicated to us that they had experienced problems with their sponsors and were no longer able to travel,” said Judith Chiyangwa, the co-ordinator of the tournament,” said Chiyangwa.
According to the draw, Pool A will comprise of defending champions Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe’s second-string side which will be coached by men’s national team player Daniel Hondo.
The Pangolins are favourites to progress from Pool B where they will face the challenge of Tuks and Air Force.
Pangolins’ coach Nsikelelo “Syke” Sibanda named a twelve-member team on Wednesday which will be captained by Lucia Marisamhuka.
In an interview with NewsDay on Friday Sibanda said:
“We are aiming for nothing short of winning the trophy and we believe we are capable of achieving that.
The players are confident and hungry and hopefully they will rise to the occasion come tomorrow (Saturday).”
Meanwhile, Zambian coach Innocent Sakala said he was confident that his side would win Saturday’s tournament.
Sakala told The Times of Zambia before departure fromthat country that his side was ready for the challenge and would retain the trophy.
“Our preparations have gone very well and the ladies have been training together for some time and are very fit and raring to go all the way in this tournament.
I’m confident that we will come back with the trophy,” said Sakala.
However, the Pangolins will be hoping that history will not repeat itself taking them back to last year when they went down 15-27 to northern neighbours in the same tournament on home soil.
Rachel Tembo, Nothando Ndlovu, Helena Nyagato, Lucia Marisamhuka (captain), Abigail Gondo, Charity Muchuchuti, Precious Marange, Octavia Munhamo, Rumbidzai Chabveka, Patience Chinhoyi, Ashley Chakambira, Simbisai Kadye