Lady Cheetahs ready to compete at Sevens World Cup qualifers

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BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO

Lady Cheetahs coach Derek Chiwara says his side is ready to compete at the Africa Regional Sevens World Cup qualifiers set for Lesotho at the weekend.

The tournament will see Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the hosts tussle it out.

Only the top team will progress to the next stage of the qualification process.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport, Chiwara said: “The tournament preparations have gone on quite well, we have had the ladies putting in the hard work and they have been training since last year.

“The squad selection was a difficult process as the competition among the ladies is quite fierce, which is positive as ladies rugby continues to grow from strength to strength. The squad is strong and it’s important that the players back up their selection by performing well.”

He hopes that there will be no injuries or any other forced withdrawals as they expect stiff competition.

“We have been fortunate not to have any injuries in camp so far and pray we don’t get any with three more sessions to go. As it stands, we don’t have any COVID-19 positive cases, with regular tests happening we hope for the best,” Chiwara said.

“The fact that all teams are aiming for a top spot means we have to take these qualifiers seriously. The team is very much aware of what is at stake and we won’t be underestimating any side. We are determined to claim top spot as any other result will be a disappointment.”

Captain Margaret Magwaro also highlighted that they would guard against complacency.

“Looking at the squad, I can safely say this looks like a strong team from the previous selections. I’m quite confident we will represent the country to the best of our ability. When it comes to rugby you can never promise anything as teams can surprise at tournaments, so all I can say is we cannot afford to lose a game,” she said.

“We have been training here and there since last year. But lately we have managed to slot in three sessions a week and the team has been committed with good spirits in camp.”

“These qualifiers are a must-win and coming from COVID-19, we don’t know how the other teams are preparing and what surprises they have in store for us.”

The team is set to leave the country tomorrow and their opening match is against the hosts, Lesotho on Saturday.

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