New incentives for Nedbank Rugby Challenge

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
New incentives for Nedbank Rugby Challenge

The Sunday News

Harare Bureau

THE third edition of the Nedbank Rugby Challenge will be held next month and one of the major talking points is the raft of changes to be implemented this year.

About US$9 000 has been set aside as team and individual prize money. The winners of the tournament, slated for March 16-23 at Harare Sports Club, will walk away with US$4 000, while the second-and third-placed teams get US$2 500 and US$1 250, respectively.

There will also be a host of individual prizes for coach of the tournament (US$350), most valuable player (US$250), best upcoming player (US$150) and top referee (US$250). Previously, there was nothing in terms of individual incentives.

“What we hope will make this year’s Nedbank Rugby Challenge Cup more exciting and unique to the previous edition is the prize money. 

“There is US$9 000 that has been set aside as the prize money, and this money will go to a host of team and individual awards. The hope is that the incentive will give this particular edition a different feel . . . and we are so excited for the tournament to start,” said tournament director Shaun De Souza.

Eight teams are expected to take part, among them Old Georgians, Old Hararians, Harare Sports Club, Pitbulls/Harare Select and the Nedbank Under-20 Junior Sables team. De Souza, who is also the national Under-20 coach, will have his Junior Sables competing as part of preparations for their Barthes Trophy title defence.

Matabeleland Select (Old Miltonians, Warriors, Highlanders, Gweru Sports Club, Mimosa and Zvishavane) and a Manicaland Select side (comprising Mutare Sports Club, Spartans, Africa University, Rusape and Mutare Polytechnic) are also expected to feature this year.

The women’s game will also make its long-awaited debut, albeit with only two teams making the cut.

“There is a lot to be excited about the return of the Nedbank Rugby Challenge Cup. 

“The Junior Sables will have two Under-20 teams — a Junior Sables team and a High Performance (Under-20 team) — participating in the event. This will give us a platform for development, because, as much as we are selecting a team for the Barthes Trophy, we also want to see our depth chart and build continuity going into next year,” he added.

Mutare has been replaced by a Manicaland Select squad to broaden the selection pool. It was generally felt Mutare Sports Club was not as strong as expected.

“The same applies to the Matabeleland Select team, which will be made up of players from the north and southern sides of the region.”

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