Ndlovu jets in for Cheetahs


The Zimbabwe Sevens side, affectionately known as the “Cheetahs,” received a boost yesterday following the arrival of South Africa-based loose forward Njabulo Ndlovu.

Ndlovu joined his teammates in camp which started yesterday ahead of the Cathay Pacific HSCB Hong Kong Sevens Series that will run from March 23-25.

The Mbare-born giant forward, one of the key players in the national Sevens side, missed the recent inaugural Spar International Sevens tourney due to academic commitments.

He, however, made his return ahead of the crucial assignment in Hong Kong after featuring in the University of Western Cape’s Varsity Shield match against the Central University of Technology (CUT-Free State) on Monday night.

Prolific South Africa-based winger Wes Mbanje and Germany-based Gardner Nechironga were expected last night.

Three South Africa-based players: winger Gerald Sibanda, Mike Morris and Graham Kulback jetted into the country on Monday afternoon.

The trio joined the local-based players such as skipper Jacques Leitao, Fortune Chipendu, Danny Hondo, Tangai Nemadire, England-based Justin Coles and Kelvin Magunje for fitness tests yesterday afternoon.

Coles is already in the country after deciding against going back to the UK after the recent Spar International Sevens tournament.

“We held fitness tests with the guys who are already in camp at Country Club this morning and head coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba will hold a training session with the boys tonight (last night).

“Gardner Nechironga and Wes Mbanje arrive tonight (last night) while Njabulo arrived this afternoon (yesterday),” said Hobson.

The Cheetahs will face debutants Philippines, Spain and Canada in Pool E in Hong Kong in a 12-team qualifying tournament for core status on the IRB circuit for 2013.

They will head into the tournament with their heads high after beating a strong South African Buffaloes side and the South African Sevens Academy to win the Spar International Sevens tournament.

Cheetahs squad: F Chipendu, J Leitao (captain), N Ndlovu, M Sita, J Coles, G Kaulback, T Nemadire, G Sibanda, W Mbanje, G Nechironga, K Magunje, J MacWade, M Morris, D Hondo, M Morris, T Chitokwindo
Coach: Gilbert Nyamutsamba
Team Manager – Bruce Hobson