CHEETAHS coach Liam Middleton believes he has assembled a competitive squad which will make their presence felt at the International Rugby Board World Sevens Series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, this weekend.Zimbabwe, who won only one of their six matches at the tournament last year, are hoping to improve this time around after they were placed in Group D with England, Argentina and Samoa.
The Cheetahs left yesterday for the series set for Saturday and Sunday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Middleton, who is also the Zimbabwe Rugby Union technical director, said they have included a sizeable crop of young players whom they believe have a lot of talent.
“I have been involved in the Zimbabwe Sevens selection in the previous years and this year the selection was hard because it’s very competitive,” said Middleton.
“It was difficult to get the final 20 players in camp.”
With Jacques Leitao unavailable for this tournament, Fortune Chipendo will captain the side that also includes St. Georges College multi-talented rookie Brandon Boshi.
The 18-year-old has been impressive in recent domestic sevens series and will be hoping to earn his first cap.
The technical team also includes Gardner Nechironga whose experience is likely to be priceless in this new-look team.
They have also retained regular campaigners Tangai Nemadire, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Njabulo Ndlovu and Kilvan Magunje who have experience at international level and have represented the nation at the sevens Rugby World Cup.
Newcomers Hilton Mudariki, Boyd Rouse and Biselele Tshamala played at the Middelburg Sevens in September.
Lenience Tambwera, who has played a number of games for the Sables, will get his first opportunity to play for the Cheetahs. However, there was no place for the Lion Lager National Rugby League Top Try Scorer Stephen Hunduza who is down with injury.
“We have selected the squad and we are traveling with some experienced players like Chipendo and Nechironga but then there are some new players like Boshi, Rouse, Mudariki who are traveling for the first time on international tour.
“So we are a little bit short on experience but we are very rich in skill. It’s really a great pleasure in coaching these guys.
“There is a lot of potential and talent which gives me the confidence,” said Middleton.
Fortune Chipendo (captain), Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Boyd Rouse, Njabulo Ndlovu, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Biselele Tshamala, Kilvan Mangunje, Hilton Mudariki, Brandon Boshi, Gardener Nechironga, Tangai Nemadire.
Article source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201312030824.html