The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE stand a chance to qualify for a seventh consecutive Rugby World Cup Sevens when the Cheetahs take part in the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens later on this year.
The Cheetahs made their debut appearance at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1997 at the second edition of the competition held in Hong Kong. Ever since then, Zimbabwe have qualified for every edition of the tournament including the one held in San Francisco, United States of America in July 2018.
With one year and three months to go before the Rugby World Cup to be staged in Cape Town, South Africa from 9-11 September, World Rugby announced the qualification pathway for the countries that are yet to book their places at the global event. Cape Town Stadium, a 55 000-capacity facility is the same venue that has hosted the Cape Town Sevens since 2015 and for the first time this year will host both men’s and women’s teams across three days of competition as part of the new-look World Rugby Sevens Series.
The new qualification process for the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens will see non-qualified teams qualify only through regional competitions. A total of 16 men’s places and 11 women’s slots available for non-qualified teams.
Zimbabwe men and women’s teams will take part in their respective Rugby Africa Sevens tournaments later on this year. Three men and one women’s team will qualify for the Rugby World Cup Sevens from the African competitions.
Seeing that the Cheetahs have done well in the Rugby Africa Sevens over the years where they have been part of the best three teams, there is no doubt that they will once again book their place at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
The Cheetahs just took part in the Ruby Africa Men’s Sevens Solidarity Camp held in Stellenbosch, South Africa where they got to play a number of matches in preparation for next month’s Tokyo Olympics final qualifier to be held in Monaco.