The Matabeleland Under-20 rugby squad will undertake a 34-hour gruelling trip by road tomorrow to Durban, South Africa, where they will take on three sides beginning on Saturday.
Sean Robinson, the team manager, yesterday said the team would be joined by two players based in South Africa.
“They will travel in an overland tourist vehicle from Bulawayo to Durban, leaving at 430am from Hartsfield on Thursday. The team will have ample opportunity to bond with each other on their 34-hour journey to and from the Zulu Kingdom,” Robinson said.
The squad will be under the guidance of Western Panthers coach George “Rollo” Mukorera with Robinson, the Matabeleland Busters coach, as manager.
“The team will start their tour with a trip to experience The Sharks vs Border game at the Absa Stadium on Friday night. The inspirational Beast (Tendai Mtawarira) won’t be playing because of an ankle injury,” Robinson said.
Mtawarira is a Zimbabwean-born South Africa-based rugby player, who plies his trade at Sharks.
The Matabeleland squad will play Varsity College Old Boys on Saturday before taking on Amanzimtoti next Wednesday and they wind up their tour against Harlequins on February 18.
Varsity Old Boys is home to one Matabeleland’s heroes, Bisele Tshamala and Sables’ Sanele “Smiley” Sibanda plays for Harlequins.
“We have not raised all the monies, but we are ready to go and the South Africans are excited about the tour. I would like to give credit to the Bulawayo community for the support they have given to the boys.
This is just a rugby development tour. I am of the belief that, we don’t have enough facilities here in the country. These guys will be playing in front of talent scouts and I am hoping that in the future we will be able to contribute players to the national team,” Robinson said.
Robinson paid tribute to Arenel, Hydraco, Mbokodo, SM Laurie, Toppers, Paint and Allied, Zimbo Marketing, Matabeleland Engineering, Alcol Chemicals, Delta, Solomons, Schweppes, KB Davies, V Perreti, Impala, Noach, The Tie Company, Ekhaya, Bon Journe, Outspan Meats and Kraal Restaurants among those in the corporate world in Bulawayo who have positively contributed towards the trip.