CHEETAHS coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba has set his sights on a place in the quarterfinals of the top tier Cup competition after naming an experienced 12-man squad for next week’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Russia.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso
Nyamutsamba, who will lead the national sevens side to their fourth appearance at the shorter version of the World Cup, named six survivors from the squad that played at the last edition of the World Cup in Dubai four years ago.
Captain Jacques Leitao and his deputy Daniel Hondo, prolific wing Wensley Mbanje, Gardner Nechironga, playmaker Tangai Nemadire and Fortune Chipendu were all part of the Cheetahs squad that won the Bowl title in Dubai.
“First and foremost, our main target is to play our best rugby and after that we want to make sure that we finish in the top two in our group and proceed to the Cup quarterfinals. Should we play our best rugby I’m sure we will achieve that.
“We are actually going to this World Cup with an advantage in that six of the players have actually played at the World Cup before. Their experience and the fact that they have been there before is going to stabilise the squad and ensure that the new players gel into the team,” he said.
With only two teams qualifying for the main cup’s quarter-finals, the Cheetahs face a daunting task to achieve their objective as they were drawn in Pool C which has giants Samoa, Kenya and debutants Philippines.
They will open their campaign with a tough encounter against Samoa next Friday before playing two matches the following day against Kenya and Philippines.
As a result, the Cheetahs need to top Pool C or at the very least, be placed second with a high points difference to advance to the Main Cup quarterfinals.
Zimbabwe will head to Moscow with high expectations after a successful campaign at the last edition of the World Cup in Dubai four years ago.
Cheetahs’ World Cup Squad: Fortune Chipendo, Jacques Leitao (captain), Njabulo Ndlovu, Mike Morris, Lucky Sithole, Tangai Nemadire, Kilvan Magunje, Daniel Hondo, Gardner Nechironga, Wensley Mbanje, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Garth Ziegler.