THE Zambia Rugby Football Union (ZRFU) has picked a 36-member provisional 15's national squad to prepare for next month's six-nation Confederations of African Rugby (CAR) Africa Cup championships scheduled for Botswana.
ZRFU president Martin Musunka said in a statement released yesterday that the 36 players were selected after the weekend's rigorous North versus South matches which were used to spot players for the national team.
Musunka said the selectors, who included the constitutionally-mandated team of two referees Dan Mulenga and Caution Bweupe and two coaches Robert Kang'ongwe and Innocent Sakala, worked closely with ZRFU honorary life vice-president and former Zambia national team captain Sergio Georgi.
He said the selectors also worked with International Rugby Board (IRB) trainers of trainers John Mwanza and Sundie Kasaka and Tom Adlam to come up with the provisional list.
Musunka said the players were expected to go into residential camp on July 8 and that the final squad will be trimmed to 24.
The team will be accompanied by three officials for the event in Gaborone which will run from July 20 to July 29.
The team comprises 18 players from the Midlands who include Nigel Chibwe, Ali Bhike, Danny Kabila, Tonny Shanton, Terry Kaushiku, Daniel Njovu, Owen Mwila, Tom Chaloba and Boyd Nyirenda.
The rest are Edward Mumba, Davy Sakala, Teddius Chipoya, Israel Kalumba, Fred Kashimoto, Andrew Musonda, Ernest Musonda, Chibesa Mwape and Sheleni Michelo.
The 18 players from the Copperbelt are Moses Chansa, Mvula Sizwe, Chilundami Kaluba, Benaya Mukwamba, Kabwe Musonda, Kabwela Mulenga, Victor Kayamba, Fine Chinkumbi and Ephraim Musukwa.
The rest are Chiluba Kangwa, Bruce Mumba, Philip Kamanga, Mutumba Besa, Emmanuel Musonda, Chilekeni Kunda, Kalasa Mulenya, Richard Kanyika and Nixon Silwimba.
Teams will play their games across the pools as opposed to pools and Zambia will open the campaign on July 22 against Cameroun and three days later engage hosts Botswana before wrapping up with Mauritius on July 28.
The full fixtures:
Saturday, 22 July 2012: Cameroun v Zambia; Botswana v Ivory Coast; Mauritius v Nigeria Wednesday, 25 July 2012: Ivory Coast v Mauritius; Zambia v Botswana; Nigeria v Cameroun Saturday, 28 July 2012: Cameroun v Ivory Coast; Mauritius v Zambia; Botswana v Nigeria.