HomeSportRugbyCheetahs head to Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens

Cheetahs head to Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens


Fresh from finishing in the Shield semi-final at the Dubai leg of the IRB World Sevens series, the national Sevens rugby team, the Cheetahs, were handed a fair draw for this weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth.

The draw which was conducted live on television before the Cup final of the Dubai Sevens saw the Cheetahs drawn in Pool D alongside Dubai Sevens semi-finalists Fiji, Wales and Portugal. The Cheetahs — who went down 21-12 to Samoa in the Shield semis — will, however, be missing the services of their vastly experienced skipper Jacques Leitao.

Leitao misses out due to family commitments and will be replaced by Mike Morris while vice-captain Daniel Hondo takes over the captaincy.

The Cheetahs, who overcame embarrassing defeats to England (43-0), France (26-0) and US (41-7), will draw inspiration from their shock 21-5 victory over Kenya on Friday.

The Kenyans, who the Cheetahs also beat in South Africa last year on their way to lifting the Shield, are a core team on the nine-legged HSBC Sevens World Series.

Dubai champions, England, top Pool A and face a tough three of matches against Dubai Cup semi-finalists Argentina, Bowl runners-up US and Shield winners Samoa.

France, who reached their first World Series Cup final since 2005 in Dubai, top Pool B in Port Elizabeth and will play pool matches on day one against reigning Series and SA Sevens champions New Zealand, Dubai Bowl winners Scotland and African qualifiers Morocco.

Hosts South Africa, top Pool C and will play Australia, who beat them in the Dubai Plate final, Canada and Kenya.

The Cheetahs’ squad — Fortune Chipendu, Mike Morris, Justin Coles, Manase Sita, Graham Kaulback, Daniel Hondo (captain), Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Njabulo Ndlovu, Gardner Nechironga, Gerald Sibanda, Tangai Nemadire, Wes Mbanje, Gilbert Nyamutsamba (coach), Bruce Hobson (team manager)
Pool A: England, Argentina, US, Samoa
Pool B: France, NZ, Scotland, Morocco
Pool C: South Africa, Australia, Canada, Kenya
Pool D: Fiji, Wales, Portugal, Zimbabwe

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