NEW Zimbabwe national rugby coach Chris Lampard has been courting foreign-based players ahead of the first World Cup qualifier in June against a team that is yet to be decided.
Zimbabwe’s Sables have a bye in the preliminary round of the qualifiers.
Lampard last week wrote to over 30 Zimbabwean professionals based in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Ten players have so far responded.
“They are all keen to get involved. It’s now up to finance and whether they will make the side,” said Lampard.
Zimbabwe have been struggling to bring foreign-based players for key matches due to poor remuneration and restraining contracts at their foreign clubs.
“We will become a rugby nation again if we are to get back our best players. Everyone wants to follow a winning team and we have not been doing that recently,” Lampard added.
However, Lampard remained resolute that the foreign-based professionals will have to fight for places with those players in the domestic league.
“The best players will get the jerseys. We have locally based players with quality who can do well for Zimbabwe and if they come through well they will be given a chance,” said Lampard.