Cheetahs in action against the Blitzbokke at the Dubai Sevens

Rugby Sevens off to Cape Town

Fungai Muderere
THE Cape Town leg of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series starts on Saturday in neighbouring South Africa with Cheetahs set to do battle against the hosts, New Zealand and Samoa in Pool A.

South Africa are World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series defending champions while New Zealand are Dubai Sevens winners.

Gilbert Nyamutsamba’s Cheetahs lost all the matches they played in the United Arab Emirates.

Ahead of the two-day action in Cape Town, Nyamutsamba and his lieutenants called up Boland  Cavaliers flank Tapiwa Tsomondo to the Zimbabwe national sevens rugby team.

Tsomondo, who plays prop in the shortened version of the game, comes in for Shayne Makombe who has gone back to his French club after the Dubai Sevens.

A former Zimbabwe Under-19 captain, the 25-year old Tsomondo reportedly had a brilliant debut season with the Cavaliers in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge which saw him being named the Player of the Year at an awards ceremony held last month.

Nyamutsamba will be looking for a much improved show by his players in terms of results but is well aware that is not going to be easy with the kind of opponents they are facing in Cape Town.

Argentina, runners-up in Cape Town last year, will face Spain in Pool B followed by Dubai runners-up USA taking on new core team Japan.

Next up will be the Pool C matches involving Dubai bronze medalists England, Fiji, France and Kenya.

Canada take on Scotland before the other Pool D match see Australia, who placed fourth in Dubai, face Wales.

After Cape Town, the Cheetahs will only be action again in April next year when they take part in the Hong Kong Sevens where they have an opportunity to become a World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series core member.

Zimbabwe Sevens for Cape Town: Tapiwa Tsomondo, Connor Pritchard, Nelson Madida, Kudakwashe Chiwanza, Ngoni Chibuwe, Shingirai Katsvere, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Biselele Tshamala, Takudzwa Kumadiro, Tarisai Mugariri, Stephan Hunduza (captain), Riaan O’Neill, Kudzai Mashawi.

Team management: Gilbert Nyamutsamba, Gerald Sibanda, Donald Mangenje, Margie Gibson
Pools for the Cape Town Sevens:

A: New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa, Zimbabwe
B: USA, Argentina, Spain, Japan
C: England, Fiji, France, Kenya
D: Australia, Scotland, Canada, Wales