The good times are set to roll back in the National Rugby League (NRL), with Delta Beverages, through their Lion Lager brand, set to be unveiled as the sponsors later this week.
The league has been unbranded since 2003 when Lion Lager brand pulled out of bankrolling the league due to the harsh economic climate which was prevailing in the country.
The same sponsors are set to come back and this weekend the teams and referees turned smartly clad in new Lion Lager branded kits for the opening week of the league at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
The same sponsors’ banners also dominated the touchline advertising at the match venue which attracted a sizable crowd.
NRL chairman Noddy Kanyangarara said the unveiling and signing ceremony would take place in the capital later this week but would not be drawn to disclose the details of the sponsorship package.
“Yes, Lion Lager are coming back to sponsor the National Rugby League and their coming on board is definitely a welcome development and something that we have been hoping for some time.
“It will definitely take our rugby to the next level as the players will now be committing themselves to playing the game,” said Kanyangarara.
Meanwhile on the field of play, defending champions Old Georgians made a statement of intent on Saturday after a hard fought 15-23 away win over city rivals and last season’s runner-ups Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
The match was a repeat of last season’s final in which Old Georgians – then known as District Dragons, sneaked past their rivals after extra time to be crowned champions.
On Saturday, Harare Sports Club’s hopes of gaining some form of revenge hit a brickwall in an exciting match as Old Georgians who during the pre-season won the Spar Summer Sevens Series proved too strong for their opponents.
Grant Mitchell and his men went to the break leading 18-10 and added another try in the second half to come out worthy winners in the end.
In an earlier match, giants Old Hararians also got their campaign to a good start after a comfortable 42-23 win over rivals Old Miltonians at the same venue.
It was the best possible start for new Old Hararians head coach Maxwell Madziva and his youthful team, which shows that their rebuilding exercise is on the right track.
Last season’s semi-finalists Zimbo Busters also fired warning shots at Hartsfield Grounds in Bulawayo after a thumping 48-17 win over visiting Air Force.