Zimbabwe Sevens manager Bruce Hobson believes the Cheetahs are better prepared for this weekend’s 2013 IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup qualifiers in Morocco after their participation at the Middelburg Sevens Rugby Festival in South Africa at the weekend.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso
The Cheetahs, who lost the semi-finals to reigning IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup champions, Wales on Saturday, leave for the regional qualifiers in Morocco today.
“I believe we achieved our objectives as far as our preparations for the World Cup are concerned. We wanted to play competitive matches before Morocco and we managed to do that against some very good teams.”
“We won all four of our pool matches comfortably before the semi-final against Wales which we went on to lose. In the end we feel it was to our advantage to play against a very strong side like Wales, who are the reigning World Cup champions,” said Hobson in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
The former Zimbabwe Rugby Union president said they would travel to Morocco with the same side that did duty in South Africa.
“We have decided not to make any changes to the squad for Morocco. We believe that is the strongest side we could come up with and we are confident that with them we will qualify for the World Cup,” he said.
The Cheetahs, who have qualified for three previous editions of the Sevens Rugby World Cup, in 1991, 2001 and 2009, will be gunning for their fourth appearance at the global showpiece.
Eight African countries will compete in Morocco with the top two teams qualifying for next year’s World Sevens Tournament.
The Gilbert Nyamutsamba-coached side is in Pool B alongside Tunisia, Namibia and Ivory Coast, while Pool A comprises Madagascar, Nigeria and Zambia. The winners of the two semifinals will then progress to the cup final having both secured places in Moscow.
South Africa and Kenya will not take part in the qualifiers as they have already qualified automatically for the event, which will take place next June in the Russian capital.
Cheetahs squad: F Chipendu, J Leitao (Captain), N Ndlovu, J Coles, L Sithole, K Magunje, D Hondo, T Nemadire, G Nechironga, J McWade, W Mbanje, T Chitokwindo
Coach: G Nyamutsamba