The Zimbabwe Sevens (7s) rugby team, the Cheetahs, arrived in Hong Kong on Monday ahead of the start of the Cathay Pacific HSCB Hong Kong 7s tournament which runs from Friday until Sunday.
The Cheetahs, together with the South Africa 7s team, received a rousing welcome from the Southern African Association of Hong Kong (SAAHK) who hosted a welcome party for both teams yesterday.
In a telephone interview with NewsDay Sport from Hong Kong yesterday, team manager Bruce Hobson said the team was raring to go.
“We arrived safely and as I speak we are at a welcome dinner in Wan Chai which is being hosted by the SAAHK for us and the Blitzbokke team.
Earlier in the day we played a practice match against Guyana and the boys are raring to go. We had a bit of an injury scare with Njabulo Ndlovu.
“It was nothing serious and he has been cleared to play after undergoing some medical tests,” said Hobson.
Zimbabwe are in Pool E with Spain, Canada and Philippines in a 12-team tournament that will see two finalists and the winner of the third and fourth-place play-off joining 12 existing core teams at each round of the 2012-2013 HSBC 7s World Series.
Other teams vying for core-team status include China, Guyana, hosts Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Tonga and Uruguay, in Pool D and F.
The Cheetahs will get their campaign underway against Spain on Friday in their first encounter in Pool E with the result likely to be decisive on the outcome of the group.
On Saturday they square off against pre-tournament favourites Canada, before concluding their pool matches against unknowns Philippines, who are making their debut on the HSBC 7s World Series.
Squad: Fortune Chipendu, Jacques Leitao, Njabulo Ndlovu, Jacques Coles, Manasah Sita, Mike Morris, Graham Kulback, Tangai Nemadire, Daniel Hondo, Gardner Nechironga, Gerald Sibanda, Wes Mbanje
Coach: Gilbert Nyamutsamba
Manager: Bruce Hobson