ZRU introduces women’s rugby

The long-awaited women’s rugby league will be established next month, according to the Zimbabwe Rugby Union.

Manicaland rugby team members.
Manicaland rugby team members.

ZRU vice president, Nyararai Sibanda, said each province had been told to form a 10-a-side team for a speedy implementation of the national league and competition was expected to begin next month.

“The introduction of the league comes as part of our efforts to promote a women’s version of the game,” said Sibanda. “We will also soon introduce provincial sports officers, with those recruited being put under the union’s payroll for the period 2014-2016. This is meant to drive rugby development from grassroots all the way to club level.”

Manicaland has already begun its provincial trials, as it tries to prepare a strong squad for the national league.

“We have reintroduced provincial senior and junior teams and spread the game at ward level in the high density suburbs,” said provincial team coach Hebert Wushe.

He was confident that the early preparation and a broad player base would make a strong case for the province when it finally takes on others in the national league.

Meanwhile, Sibanda said the ZRU had also reintroduced provincial senior and junior teams, with the inaugural play-offs set for Bulawayo during the Easter holidays.

“Just like in the old days, every province will field a team of both seniors and juniors (Under-19) to represent them. We hope to use this format to scout for and sign up more talented players from all over the country,” he said.

“At the 2016 Olympic games to be hosted by Brazil, Sevens rugby will be added as an Olympic sport for the Under-19’s, so this will also be a building up structure for our junior side, apart from the Cottco Games and the traditional schools national trials.” Qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games are set to be held in Gaborone, Botswana, in May. Since 2002, the provincial teams were only for schools rugby and used as the scouting ground for the junior U-19 Sables squad during the annual national trials tournament.

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