The Zimbabwe Women’s Sevens Rugby team, who will play at the 2013 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup African Qualifiers in Morocco in September, stepped up their preparations over the weekend by playing rivals Zambia.
Zimbabwe fielded two teams — the senior side — affectionately known as the Pangolins and a second string side composed of young and upcoming players which played under the banner Zimbabwe Select B.
The Pangolins beat rivals Zambia 17-12 in the main international friendly match at Harare Sports Club.
Earlier, the Zimbabwe Select B received a baptism of fire as they were thumped 47-0 by the Zambians.
Zimbabwe Women’s Rugby side coach, Abigail Kawonza said the two matches were important for their preparations, but said they needed more matches to be ready for the qualifiers.
“This was a very important match for our preparations for the qualifiers in September which is why we fielded two teams. Zambia are a good team and they definitely gave us a good run and we hope to secure more matches.”
Kawonza said they were still hopeful of securing one more international friendly match against Botswana before participating at the Middleburg Sevens in South Africa and the Castle Sevens in Zambia.
“Our girls need to be playing more matches to ensure that they remain in good shape. At the moment we are still looking for funds to bring Botswana and hopefully also play at the Middleburg Sevens in South Africa and the Castle Sevens in Zambia before we travel to Morocco,” said Kawonza.
Zimbabwe will do battle with Tunisia, hosts Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya at the 2013 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup African Qualifiers in Morocco from September 29-30.
Only one team will qualify for the 2013 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup in Russia. Women’s Rugby Sevens has accelerated in growth across the world following the International Olympic Committee decision to admit the sport into the Olympic Games programme in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.