Zimbabwe: Zim Sables Tackle the Stallions

Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE will book a place in the quarter-finals of the Rugby Africa Cup if they beat Burkina Faso in today's Pool D match at Old Georgians Sports Club.

The Sables come into the match with their tails high after they walloped the visiting Stallions 101-03 in the first match at the same venue on Sunday.

Sables coach Brendan Dawson is expected to give former Young Sables duo of flank Sebastian Roche and inside centre Marcus Nel another run after they made their full senior debuts on Sunday.

The pair did not disappoint as they went on to score a try each as the Sables managed an incredible 15 tries.

However, the two sides will both qualify for the next round next year, where Burkina Faso face another tough task against Namibia in the knock-out phase of the tournament which will double as the final phase of qualification for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Unlike other Rugby Africa Cup pools which have three teams, Pool D was reduced to just two teams following the withdrawal of Tunisia as both hosts and participants in the competition due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in the north African country.

With a number of countries and unions facing border closures due to the pandemic, Rugby Africa has been assisting members in travelling to match days, while adhering to local and host country processes and protocols. With a collective effort to restart competitions, strict Covid-19 risk mitigations protocols have been communicated to all stakeholders in collaboration with unions. The Rugby Africa Cup is an annual rugby union tournament involving African nations, organised by Rugby Africa. The tournament was first held in 2000 and has since been contested on an annual basis.

This year, the top 14 teams based on the African ranking, will compete in a single co-ordinated competition until the last two face each other in the final in 2022.

Starting with the Rugby Africa Cup Repechage which was hosted by the Burkina Faso Rugby Union in the capital Ouagadougou at the Stade 4 Août stadium, from June 5-13, 2021, till the last game to be played in Kampala, Uganda on July 18, a total of 27 matches will have been played.

About 40 match officials from 11 African countries have been deployed from Rugby Africa across the continent to support the hosting unions' workforce.

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