ZIMBABWE’S Under-19 rugby team will this weekend hold the first of their two scheduled training camps ahead of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR)
Under-19 Championships to be held at the Hage Geingob in Windhoek, Namibia, from August 26-31.
The four-nation continental championships will see the Young Sables square off against the hosts and Kenya for Africa’s sole ticket for the 2015 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT) to be held in Portugal.
“August 9-11 and 19-23 August have been set aside as the dates for our two training camps ahead of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy qualifiers in Namibia,” Zimbabwe Under-19 rugby chairman Aaron Jani said yesterday. “We have trimmed the squad to 30 and they have been training as a squad every Sunday outside these two training camps.
“During the training camps we will also focus on life skills, starting with a mentoring programme on financial planning, to be conducted by our biggest financial institution Old Mutual, through their partnership with Zimbabwe Rugby Union,” Jani said.
According to the official tournament programme released yesterday, Zimbabwe will play Kenya in the first semi-final on August 26 while hosts Namibia clash with Tunisia in the other semi-final match. The winners of the two semifinals will qualify for the final set for August 30 where the winner will qualify the 2015 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.
Zimbabwe qualified for three consecutive IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy tournaments in 2010 (Russia), 2011 (Georgia) and 2012 (US).
They have, however, missed out on the last two editions held in Chile (2013) and this year’s tournament held in Hong Kong in April this year to bitter rivals Namibia.
After all the country’s national teams failed to beat the Namibians this year, the Car Under-19 Championships present a final opportunity for a Zimbabwe side to finally record a win against their nemesis. Talented full-back Brandon Mandivenga and hardworking prop Thabani Mujeni were recently named as the captains of the Young Sables team.