ZIMBABWE Sevens Rugby selectors have opted for consistency by naming a virtually unchanged Cheetahs squad for this weekend’s Spar Zimbabwe International Sevens Rugby tournament which gets underway at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
With the exception of the foreign-based trio of as Manasah Sita, Wesley Mbanje and Gerald Sibanda, who are unavailable for the tournament due to other commitments, there were no surprises to the squad named on Saturday after the conclusion of the national trials.
Harare Sports Club lively wing Stephen Hunduza and former Young Sables loose forward Tapiwa Tsomondo are the only uncapped players in the squad.
The pair, who have graduated from the Cheetahs’ reserve side, the Goshawks are expected to add more speed and youthful flare to the Cheetahs when they earn their first senior caps.
Skipper Jacques Leitao together with fellow veterans such as Daniel Hondo, Fortune Chipendo, Japhet Ndebele, Gardner Nechironga and Tangai Nemadire will form the backbone of the side.
Three representative sides, the Cheetahs, the Goshawks and the Warriors side were named on Saturday at the conclusion of the fourth leg of the national selection process which began four weeks ago.
The three teams, led by the Cheetahs will represent the country at the Spar Zimbabwe International Sevens which the national side is using to prepare for the upcoming Hong Kong Sevens later this month and the World Cup in June.
According to the draw for the tournament conducted last week, the Zimbabwe Cheetahs have been drawn in the same pool with Georgia and Zambia.
Kenya are in Pool B together with Hong Kong and the Zimbabwe Warriors while Pool C comprises of the South African Sevens Academy, the Blue Bulls and Leopard.
The Goshawks are in Pool D with South African sides Buffaloes and Pumas.
The Cheetahs will go into the tournament as the defending champions after winning the inaugural edition last year.
Cheetahs Squad: Japhet Ndebele, Lucky Sithole, Daniel Hondo (vice-captain), Fortunate Chipendo, Kilvan Magunje, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Njabulo Ndlovu, Tangai Nemadire, Stephen Hunduza, Gardner Nechironga, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Jacques Leitao (captain)
Coach: Gilbert NyamutsambaGoshawks Squad: David Cloete, Tonderai Chigumbura, Kuda Chiwanza, Farai Jijita, Teddy Hwata, Carter Makwasha, Craig Elcombe, Lloyd Machanjaire, Boyd Rous, Shayne Makombe, Lance Chikodzi, Dan Nicholls