Zimbabwe: Cheetahs Set to Leave for Monaco

THE Cheetahs are expected to leave the country this morning ahead of this weekend World Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Repechage tournament in Monaco, France.

The team faced some challenges, for the better part of yesterday, before the Sports Commission managed to put the national side's house in order, ahead of their scheduled departure.

The trip will likely open a window of hope, for other sports codes, that they will be able to field their national teams, in international competitions, despite the suspension imposed on sporting activities, in the country.

The Sports Commission suspended all sporting activities, and events, on Sunday.

The country's sports regulator said all national associations, sports clubs and gyms should abide by this suspension without exception.

It's all part of a cocktail of measures meant to curb Covid-19.

"All sporting activities and events are hereby suspended with effect from Monday 14 June 2021 until further notice," the SRC said in a statement.

"All national sports associations, clubs, gyms, and related stakeholders should abide by this suspension without exception.

"The SRC is well aware of certain on-going, or contemplated, national sports commitments (including qualifiers for international events) and will be in urgent direct communication with the relevant national associations thereof on guidance, and other mitigatory measures, in light of the above suspension."

The national Sevens side will battle in the final qualifying tournament, for the rescheduled Olympic Games, on Saturday and Sunday, at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.

The Cheetahs have been placed in Pool A, alongside Samoa, Ireland, Tonga and Mexico.

Pool B is made up of Uganda, France, Chile, Hong Kong and Jamaica.

The top two teams, from each pool, progress through to the knockout stages, culminating in the final, with the winner booking their place at the Tokyo Games.

Coach Daniel Hondo has left behind some experienced campaigners such as Stephan Hunduza, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Riaan O'Neil, Shayne Makombe and Biselele Tshamala.

The new-look Cheetahs squad is dominated by players who are yet to make an appearance in an HSBC World Sevens Series tournament

The former Zimbabwe international, who captained the country in both the Sevens and fifteens formats of the game, gave his team some game time at the recently-held Rugby Africa Solidarity Cup, in Cape Town.

During the training camp, the Cheetahs took on Uganda, who will also be competing in Monaco, as well as hosts South Africa and Kenya, who have already qualified for the Olympics.

Cheetahs Squad

Boyd Rouse (Captain), Sam Phiri, Ryan Magaramombe, Kudzai Mashawi, Nelson Madida, Munopa Maneta, Munesu Muneta, Ryan Musumhi, Godknows Mavara, Shingirai Katsvere, Martin Mangongo, Brandon Boshi

Head coach: Daniel Hondo

Team manager: Keegan Cooke

Physiotherapist: Margaret Gibson

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