The Zimbabwe women’s rugby side, the Pangolins, will be hoping to shed off their “near women” tag when they participate in this year’s edition of the Castle Sevens tournament to be held in Zambia.
The five-team tournament comprising Zimbabwe, Botswana, two South African provincial sides Limpopo and Turks plus the hosts Zambia, is on this weekend in Lusaka.
Though Zimbabwe managed to beat Zambia 24-19 to lift last year’s edition of the BancABC Women Rugby Tournament, Zambia have continuously beaten them in the finals of the Castle Sevens Tournament.
Woman’s rugby boss Aisha Tsimba said the team, which leaves for Zambia on Wednesday, was geared for the tournament.
“The Pangolins have stepped up preparations for the Castle Sevens Tournament. Women’s Sevens rugby continues to grow in the male-dominated discipline, gaining popularity in schools and clubs,” she said.
Tsimba added that this was one of the tournament in which the team would participate this year. “Development plans include efforts to attract, identify and nurture talent that will build critical mass to facilitate participation in the 15’s format of the game at all levels.
“The women will take part in a number of international fixtures this year, including the BancABC Tournament which they will host in October. The squad has been in camp since Monday,” she said.
She also thanked a number of sponsors who have come on board that include Pandhari Lodge (Neville Chifamba), Arkmate Enterprises (Taurai Rukwata), Colleen De Jong, Nicholas Munyonga, High Performance Gear and Catalyst Apparel, Godwin Murambiwa and Cowden Chikombah. The team was scheduled to meet patron Oppah Muchinguri on Thursday.
Their male counterparts, the Cheetahs, will be defending the trophy at this year’s edition of the tournament.
Pangolins squad: Charity Mucucuti, Ashleigh Chitambira, Lillian Mapiye, Rumbi Chabveka, Nothando Ndlovu, Lucia Marisamhika (captain), Takunda Mpofu, Abigail Gondo, Precious Marange, Simbisai Kadye, Tatenda Chitewe, Octavia Munhamo,
Head coach: Abigail Govere
Assistant coach: George Mukorera
Physiotherapist: Abigail Munikwa
Manageress: Anna Mguni