THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) will next month host the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Championship tournament in what should be another boost to the growth of the women’s game in the country.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Eight African countries – Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, South Africa, Madagascar, Namibia and hosts Zimbabwe – will participate in the continental tourney to be played from September 17-18 at the Police Grounds in the capital.
The hosting of the Africa Rugby Women’s Sevens Rugby tournament will be a major milestone for women’s rugby, which has been on a steady growth in recent years due to the increase in the number of schools taking up the sport.
The national women’s Sevens team, which is affectionately known as the Lady Cheetahs, this year participated at the Rio Olympic Sevens Repechage Rugby tournament in Dublin, Ireland, after finishing fourth during the African Olympic qualifiers held in South Africa last year. The Lady Cheetahs are expected to be boosted by the addition of girls from the Old Mutual U18 team which recently took part in the SA Rugby Youth Week in Kimberley, South Africa.
The Old Mutual-sponsored national Under-18 girls team has been the best performing junior rugby side over the last two years.
Meanwhile, the national Under-19 rugby team technical department is expected to announce the Young Sables squad to take part in the Under-19 Africa Cup championship to be held in Windhoek, Namibia, next week.
Other teams to take part are defending champions Namibia, Kenya and Tunisia.
The Young Sables, who finished second during last year’s tournament, have been camped at Churchill High School and Prince Edward High School in preparation for the tournament which doubles up as the qualifiers for next year’s World Rugby Under-20 Trophy competition. Zimbabwe has won the Africa Cup U-19 tourney on three occasions and will be hoping to land a fourth crown this year.