HomeSportRugbyCheetahs in tricky draw at Hong Kong Sevens

Cheetahs in tricky draw at Hong Kong Sevens


The Zimbabwe national Sevens Rugby team, Cheetahs were drawn in Pool F alongside Australia, Argentina, and Canada for the Hong Kong Sevens, after the draw released by the International Rugby Board (IRB) over the weekend.

The Hong Kong Sevens is the fifth leg of the 2011 HSBC Sevens World Series and has attracted 24 teams who will battle for the winners’ cheque of $150 000 — the largest prize purse in International Sevens.

The Cheetahs are still brimming with confidence after winning the Shield Trophy in their last participation on the World Series in George last year, where they beat Kenya 5-14 in the shield final.

This time around they will open their campaign with a clash against the Australians on March 25 before coming up against Argentina the next day before meeting Canada later that day.

The Liam Middleton-coached side will also be relishing their contest against the Argentineans who they upstaged 14-24 in Dubai last year despite the fact that they could not repeat the same feat against the same team in George.

The Hong Kong Sevens will also be an opportunity for most of the players in the Cheetahs team to market themselves to international clubs.

Germany-based Manase Sita could be on the verge of a breakthrough to the big time after he was invited for trials at French Top 14 clubs Bourgoin and Montpellier this winter after impressing French agents in Dubai and George last year.

Locally-based players in the Cheetahs squad have already started preparing for the tournament by taking part in a strength and fitness condition programme at Old Georgians together with the Under-20 team which is preparing for the Junior World Rugby Trophy.

The preparations will intensify over the weekend when Sevens tournament, dubbed the Summer Sevens Series, gets underway at Old Georgians on Saturday.

Zimbabwe plays in three of the eight legs of the rebranded HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong, Dubai and George.

According to the IRB organisers expect to welcome 120 000 visitors in Hong Kong from March 25-April 7.
New Zealand is in Pool A with France, Portugal and Korea, while Pool B has England, United States, Japan and China.

In Pool C defending Hong Kong Sevens champions Samoa are matched against Scotland, Tonga and Mexico, while US Sevens runners-up Fiji are matched against Kenya, Russia and Malaysia in Pool D.

Champions of Las Vegas South Africa will line up against Wales, Hong Kong and Spain in Pool E.

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