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SA Rugby Legends visit

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Organisers of the Zimbabwe Legends match against their South African counterparts set for Victoria Falls next month are confident the match will play a major role in promoting the growth of the sport in the resort town.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

Zimbabwe will host the South African Rugby Legends, popularly known as the Springbok Legends in Victoria Falls from March 26-29 with the major highlight being the match between the two sides at Victoria Falls Primary School on March 28.

In addition to promoting Victoria Falls as a premier tourist destination, the Springbok Legends’ visit will include various activities such as conducting a coaching clinic for children from schools in in the resort town.

“The event and the whole ethos of rugby legends is around not just remembering the game and its legends but about development of the future of rugby,” said Robin Brown of Cansaf, who are the event coordinators at a press briefing in the capital yesterday.

“It’s their way of giving back to rugby through encouraging rugby players and raising the interest and support for rugby in the future.
That is why part of the programme for this visit will include an extended clinic at Victoria Falls Primary School on the 27th of March.

The Rugby Legends will host schools from around the region of Victoria Falls and these kids will have an opportunity
to rub shoulders with some of the households’ names in rugby,” he said.

Some of the former players who will take part in the match include Zimbabwe Rugby Union technical director Brighton Chivandire, Sean Robinson, Bret Holloway and ex-Sables player and coach Brendan Dawson amongst others.

The Springboks Legends side will be coached by Zimbabwe-born former Springboks coach Ian McIntosh and will feature former players such as Stephan Teblanche Brown said the Springbok Legends’ visit, their third in the last four years highlighted the strong links between South African and Zimbabwean rugby.

Zimbabwe has produced a number of players who have gone on to represent the Springboks at the highest level.

“What many people are not aware of is that these two rugby playing nations (Zimbabwe and South Africa) have a history that is inter-twined and is still very much to this day linked especially across the legends of rugby.

The event won’t just be the actual match itself on the 28th of March; something of this magnitude lends itself to doing more with these legends and showing them our country and exposing Victoria Falls,” he said.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief excecutive Karikoga Kaseke said the event would go a long way in promoting tourism and encouraged local rugby fans to support the event.

“We call upon all Zimbabweans to support this event by attending the match and cheering on our Zimbabwe Rugby Legends and giving a warm welcome to the visiting South African Legend.

Special packages for the event are available which you all can take advantage of and have a great weekend in our premier resort town of Victoria Falls.

“It brings us to a partnership between sport and tourism and it is obviously one of the reasons we are playing this game in Victoria Falls.”

Some of the sponsors who are backing the event include the Gold Sponsors, Africa Albida Tourism who will accommodate the SA Rugby Legends for three nights at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

The Silver sponsors are African Sun who will provide accommodation for the Zimbabwe Rugby Legends for three nights at the Elephant Hills Hotel.

The other silver sponsors are Wild Horizons, Blue Arrow Coaches, Into Africa &Mapopoma and Liquorama Victoria Falls.

The match and all activities that will be undertaken during the team’s visit will be covered by the SuperSport crew and a programme will be shown in the weeks following the game on their channels.

SuperSport has a dedicated rugby channel and this will ensure coverage of the whole event.

Zimbabwe last hosted the SA Rugby Legends in 2013 with the two teams taking on each other in a rugby match which was meant to celebrate Hartsfield Rugby Stadium’s 75 years of existence.

Last year the SA Rugby Legends hosted their Zimbabwean counterparts in Kwazulu Natal, with the two teams taking on each other in a match which acted as a curtain raiser for the Super Rugby match between the Sharks and the Hurricanes.

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