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Cheetahs stick to old horses

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The national 7s rugby side technical department will keep faith in their tried and tested old horses for next week’s Spar International 7s tournament at Harare Sports Club.

Team manager Bruce Hobson yesterday named virtually an unchanged side from the one that represented the country on the IRB World 7s series in Dubai and South Africa last year.

Six international teams, the South Africa Sevens Academy, Sharks, Pumas, Buffaloes, Northern Region, Zambia and Botswana will be joined by the hosts’ national 7s team, best known as the Cheetahs, and their second-string side, the Goshawks for the March 3-4 tourney.

With no time to experiment before the Hong Kong leg of the IRB World Series the technical department has decided to keep faith in the experienced players like skipper Jacques Leitao, Danny Hondo, Wes Mbanje, Manasah Sita, Gerald Sibanda and Fortune Chipendu who have formed the nucleus of the squad in recent years.

Other emerging young players such as Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Justin Coles, Graham Kulback and Mike Morris also got the nod while Gweru Sports Club’s Kelvin Magunje also received a call-up on the back of his impressive performances in the local Spar Summer 7s Series.

Hobson said there were still some doubts over the availability of Germany-based utility player Gardner Nechironga and South Africa-based giant loose forward Njabulo Ndlovu due to club commitments.

“We have retained basically the same team that played on the IRB World Series in Dubai and South Africa in December last year. We have just a couple of new players and this was necessitated by the possible absence of Gardner Nechironga and Njabulo Ndlovu. Their clubs have indicated they might not release them. However, we have still included them in the team as nothing has been finalised yet,” said Hobson.

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