By Anashe Murombedzi
LOCAL rugby players have an opportunity to earn selection into the Currie Cup-bound Goshawks team when they feature in the newly-formed Nedbank Rugby Challenge Cup which roars into life at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare this Saturday.
The Rugby Nedbank Challenge Cup marks the return of the 15s rugby after a two-year sabbatical.
The competition will present an opportunity for local players to be selected in the Zimbabwe Select side, also known as the Goshawks, ahead of participating in the Currie Cup First Division in South Africa on the 12th of next month.
“We were taking part in the Curry Cup in South Africa. The bulk of our Sables players are foreign based and that is only because we have been playing rugby during the COVID-19 pandemic but we mustn’t forget that we have local players who are more than capable. As a result, we sat down as a team on to get our local players into some form of a competition that will allow selectors and head coach to look at our players hence the birth of Nedbank Challenge Cup,” said Zim Rugby Union CEO,Sifiso Made.
The participating teams include Old Georgians, Old Hararians. Harare Sports Club, Southern City, Manicaland Select and Bulawayo Select.
Harare Sports Club will take on Manicaland Select in the first match while hosts Old Georgians clash against Bulawayo Select.
Old Hararians will be aiming for a solid start when they face Southern City in the main match.
The Challenge Cup will also provide the much needed game time to prepare for the Rugby World Cup penciled for France in July.