Rugby boss takes on marketing plan

Enock Muchinjo

THE Confederation of African Rugby (Car) held its general meeting in Johannesburg last week where South Africa’s bid to host the IRB World Cup in 2011 and market the game on the continen

t topped the agenda.


Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) president Bryn Williams, who represented Zimbabwe at the meeting, led a campaign for a planned marketing strategy for African rugby, resulting in the appointment of a marketing subcommittee to spearhead an aggressive promotion of the game on the continent.


The ZRU boss was elected on to the committee. The subcommittee, headed by South African Rugby Football Union president, Brian van Rooyen, starts work with immediate effect.


“The idea was well-received. We are obviously pushing for a marketing strategy of Car in terms of television rights, continental travel sponsorship deals with airlines and hotel chain groups for teams’ away matches.

Basically, we are trying to ease pressure on the local unions,” said Williams.

A leading United Kingdom broadcasting service provider, TWI, signed a deal at the meeting to produce and beam throughout the world an all-inclusive television rugby programme, Total Rugby, covering domestic and international rugby on the continent.


“There will be lots of coverage of African rugby. We are fighting that countries get financial benefits from that television coverage,” he said.

On South Africa’s World Cup bid, Williams said the whole continent had come out in support of the southern African nation’s quest to stage the tournament for a second time. South Africa, who won the World Cup when they hosted it in 1995, face stern challenge from Japan and New Zealand who are also bidding to host the 2011 edition.


Meanwhile, the ZRU this week officially announced the technical departments for all national teams.


Former Mashonaland Country Districts trainer and national assistant coach Chris Lambard takes over as Sables coach from Brighton Chivandire, who was left in the cold by a ZRU appointments committee which made recommendations to the union’s board recently.


Lambard will be assisted by Western Panthers coach and former national player, Zivanai Dzinomurumbi, while Doug Fingland is the new team manager.