Zim to host Tri-Nations rugby tourney

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The Sables committee chairman Dumile Moyo has said they are planning to host a Tri-Nations tournament involving Zambia and Botswana as part of the senior national rugby team’s preparations for the Africa Cup Group 1A and the Tri-Nations Victoria Cup.

Moyo told NewsDay Sport yesterday plans were at an advanced stage to host the tournament in April or May before the Sables 2012 campaign.

The Sables will start the defence of their Victoria Cup title in July, but dates and venue for the event are yet to be confirmed by the Confederation of African Rugby.

The Sables who finished the whole of last season undefeated are the defending champions of the Tri-Nations Victoria Cup involving Kenya and Uganda and will also take part in the Africa Cup Group 1A after winning 1B in 2011.

“ Zambia and Botswana are not as competitive as other African teams, but hosting such a tournament will also give us an opportunity to give our current and potential sponsors the much needed mileage as we try to garner support ahead of the 2015 World Cup qualifiers,” he said.

Moyo said they were mooting the possibility of playing against South African provincial teams as well as building ties with other third tier rugby nations like Brazil and Germany.

The Sables have been on a gradual rise, and currently occupy number 33 on the International Rugby Board World Rankings.

Powerhouses South Africa (4), Namibia (19) and Morocco (27) are the only African teams currently ranked above the Sables.

Meanwhile the Sables committee is set to meet in Harare today to finalise the issue of the vacant Sables coaching post after Brendon Dawson’s contract expired at the end of the season in July.

Dawson, who has been at the helm since 2007, and his assistant Cyprian Mandenge are however tipped to retain the posts as the committee looks for continuity after last season’s success.