New rugby league

Southern region premier rugby teams have put together a regional league for the sport. This follows the crumbling of the national league, which grossly came after the recent pullout of Delta, who bankrolled the action through their Lion Lager brand.

The newly-formed Mid-Mat Rugby League comprises teams from Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo, which used to be the bedrock of the NRL. These include former champions Old Miltonians; Busters, Shabanie, Panthers, Bulldogs, Gweru Sports Club and Masvingo Titans. The maiden campaign in the league is expected to kick-off at the beginning of next month.

Zwelonke Mloiswa, one of the interim committee members of the new league, who also doubles as the Gweru Sports Club chairperson, said the major aim of the new league would be to make sure that rugby as a sport does not die in the region.

“When the NRL folded last year due to sponsorship problems, we risked having the sport literally dying in this southern region because clubs could not just go for training without playing any regular games. This is therefore the reason why we have started the Mid-Mat league,” he said.

The former national sevens rugby league player added that the new league would also ensure competitiveness among southern region teams and advertise the sport with a view of exciting potential sponsors.

“If sponsors realise that the sport is still there we could actually invite sponsors to come even for the national league itself. So this initiative of a regional league is praiseworthy. Again, we need to make sure that players are kept fit. Many of them from the teams that will be in the Mid-Mat league, are actually national team players who will feature on future assignments for our country,” said Mloiswa.

Starting next month, the Zimbabwe rugby national squad will be taking part in the African CAR Championships games with tough opponents like Kenya, Tunisia and Benin.

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