, “We want to start the national league next year and we made an application to the IRB (International Rugby Union) for a grant. We are going to buy a team bus which used by the national league teams,” Hobson said.
Hobson said the national league would be confined to the Northern and South Region teams, which are Harare Old Hararians Sports Club, Airforce, Police Defenders and Alex Sports Club.
The Southern Region teams are Western Panthers, Airforce, Gweru Sports Club and Shabanie Mine.
The Union has failed to pay 12 contracted players due to cash constraints.
The 12 sevens rugby players were put on contracts in February this year in an effort to discourage them from moving elsewhere, particularly the green pastures of South Africa.
Players who got the inaugural contracts are Fortune Chipendo, Willis Magasa, Tangai “Too Bad” Nemadire, Jacques Leitao, Brendan Brider, Tafadzwa Mhende, Wes Mbanje, Slater Ndlovu, Roy Ormerod, Craig Elcombe, Allan Mdehwa and Emmanuel Munyoro.
Hobson said they could resume paying the players only for the duration of the International Rugby Board World Sevens series.
When pilot project started in February, the Zimbabwe Rugby Union managed to raise $1 billion in a horserace day, which was to go towards the salaries and allowances of the players.
The Zimbabwe Cheetahs team will participate in three out of the eight tournaments in the 2007/08 International Rugby Board Sevens World Series.
According to the schedule released, Zimbabwe will start their campaign in Dubai from 30 November -1 December. The George, South Africa series will be played from 7-8 December. The Hong Kong edition will be played from 28-30 March next year.
The IRB Sevens circuit consists of tournaments played in Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland from June to December.
It features 16 of the world’s best sides and currently the core teams are Fiji, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Samoa, Australia, Scotland, France, Tunisia and Argentina. – Agency
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Rugby Union has made an application for funds to the International Rugby Union, for the re-establishment of the defunct national league next year.
The national league was discontinued due to the high transport costs that faced many teams.
The ZRU's Bruce Hobson said