Sables suffer as opponents get match practice

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WHILE the Zimbabwe rugby team has been starved of competitive matches ahead of their Africa Cup title defence, their rivals Kenya and Uganda will intensify their preparations when they clash in a high-profile two-legged derby starting today.

SPORTS REPORTER

The East African teams will clash in the first leg of Elgon Cup at the Moi International Sports Centre today, a clear sign that they are taking their preparations for the Africa Cup very seriously.
After the first leg today, the two teams will clash in the second and final leg in Kampala next week.

For Kenya, today’s match will be their third competitive match of the season after their recent 10-day tour of South Africa, where they played preparatory matches against the Western Cape under-21 and University of Western Cape teams.

In April, former Springboks head coach Peter de Villiers also conducted a week-long high performance training camp with the Kenyan team in a deal sponsored by the East African side’s sponsors. While Zimbabwe’s rivals have been busy intensifying their preparations, it has not been the same case for the reigning African champions.

Financial woes recently forced the Sables to postpone their tour of South Africa, which they were hoping to use to prepare for next month’s continental competition in Madagascar. The Brendan Dawson-coached side was scheduled to play two matches against Valke in Johannesburg on June 12 before completing the tour against Pumas three days later in Nelspruit.

The two East African sides together with hosts Madagascar are expected to pose a serious threat to the Sables’ hopes of defending their African title which would keep them in the running for qualification to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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