Gardner Nechironga says the Zimbabwe Sevens rugby team will be out to prove they are an emerging force in Sevens rugby when they take part in the second and third legs of the IRB World Sevens Series in Dubai and Port Elizabeth early next month.
The gangly utility backliner, who plays for top German club SC Neuenheim, said the Cheetahs had the quality of players to beat some of the top teams in Sevens rugby.
Last year at the Dubai Sevens tournament, the Cheetahs caused one of the biggest shocks of the tournament after stunning Argentina 24-14 in their first match.
“Our goal will be to play some good rugby and make sure we win our group to qualify for the Cup quarter-finals, so that we show the world we really deserve to be playing regularly on the IRB circuit.
We have a number of experienced players and some talented youngsters who are determined to do well and I believe if we blend well and go there with a positive attitude, we can win many games,” said Nechironga in an interview with NewsDay Sport from his base in Germany.
The Cheetahs were recently awarded for their consistency after the IRB invited them to two more legs on the IRB World Sevens series England and Scotland in May next year.
This takes the tournaments the Cheetahs take part in on the nine- legged HSBC Sevens World Series to five as they already take part in the Dubai, South Africa and Hong Kong legs.
“The state of our rugby has been consistently improving and we must make sure we maintain the standard and keep Zimbabwean rugby going forward.
I’m sure we will get there, how nice it would be to have Zimbabwe as a core member on the IRB World Series,” he said.
Nechironga and another talented Cheetahs’ player Manase Sita, who also plays for the Heidelberg-based club, are expected to join the rest of the Cheetahs’ squad in Dubai on Sunday. Gilbert Nyamutsamba is in charge in the absence of England-based coach Liam Middleton.
Cheetahs Squad: Jacques Leitao (captain), Fortune Chipendu, Japhet Ndebele, Lloyd Machanjaira, Wes Mbanje, Mike Morris, Tangai Nemadire, Gerald Sibanda, Daniel Hondo, Justin Coles, Manasah Sita, Gardner Nechironga, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Kudakwashe Chiwanza, Simbarashe Gonese, Jonathan McWade, Njabulo Ndlovu, Graham Kaulback, Lloyd Swift