Zimbabwe’s Under-19 rugby team will tackle familiar opponents at the International Rugby Board (IRB) 2012 Junior World Rugby Trophy in US in June after being drawn with the same teams they faced during the last year’s tournament in Georgia.
The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy will take place at Murray Filed in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the US from June 18-30.
The Young Sables, as the team is affectionately known, were drawn in Pool B alongside Japan, Georgia and Canada while in Pool A, hosts US will draw swords with Tonga, Chile and Russia.
The Young Sables open their campaign against Japan on June 18 before taking on Georgia on June 22. They conclude their campaign against Canada on June 26.
According to the IRB, the format of the tournament will see winners of the two pools face each other in the final, slated for June 30, to claim the title and with it promotion to the top tier 2013 IRB Junior World Championship in France.
The Young Sables, who are ranked the top team on the continent outside South Africa, booked their place at the tournament after winning Africa’s qualifying tournament by beating rivals Namibia 29-17 in the final at the Prince Edward School in July last year.
Head coach Brighton Chivandire and his men will be hoping for a better performance after finishing as the worst team at last year’s tournament.
The squad is expected to play youth teams of the top South African teams when they resume camp next month.
Like last year when the Young Sables played the touring British Independent Schools rugby team, the Barbarians, the young Sables will play two games against another touring team.
Among the teams being mooted as possible sparring opponents are the Sharks Under-19s, Leopards Under-20 team, Lions Under-19 and the Cheetahs Under-19 team.
The Young Sables’ technical department headed by Chivandire named a provisional 40-man squad in December which is currently training bi-weekly on strength and fitness conditioning under the instruction of Grant Mitchell.
The squad also includes players eligible for the Under-19 team which will take part in the Confederation of African Rugby Under-19 Championships set for Johannesburg, South Africa from August 24 to September 1.
Pool A: Tonga, Chile, Russia and US
Pool B: Japan, Georgia, Canada and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Under-20 Squad
P Bryant, M Bryce Rogers, T Chieza, T Chigumbura, S Chirara, T Chowe, D Coetzee, J Coles, D Diza, J Forrester, S Hunduza, F Jijita, S Joubert, A Kamkwindo, T Kavhengha, M Lawson, S Linfield, G Logan, S Lupuwana, K Makuvire, M Mandiona, M McIntosh, G Meikle, R Morkel, H Mudarike, M Muhambi, D Mupfurutsa, V Mushoriwa, Ian Muza, T Ndaba, T Ndudzo, M Nel, D Rorke, R Sargeant, W Seremani, D Sibanda, M Sinclair, J Smallbones, L Tamwera, T Toriro, T Tsomondo, A Van Heerden, C Van Rensburg, D Zimbudzana, F Zimoto, J Zulu