The Sunday Mail
AFTER getting a feel of high-level competition at the Currie Cup, Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) have launched an audacious bid to host some of the 2023 First Division matches.
Zimbabwe’s Sables, trading as the Goshawks, recently took their bow at the South African tournament in Cape Town.
They were using the tourney to prepare and select a squad for next month’s Rugby Africa Cup in France.
This year’s Africa Cup is being used as the continent’s final qualifier for the 2023 World Cup, which is also scheduled for France.
After a largely satisfactory maiden appearance in the Currie Cup by the Goshawks, ZRU president Aaron Jani is confident the national game can benefit from hosting some of the games in next year’s edition.
In Cape Town, the Goshawks had to use different schools as venues for their matches.
Jani also expressed the union’s satisfaction at securing a maiden participation in the 10-team Currie Cup in which rivals Kenya also took part against some South African provincial and club sides.
“As Zimbabwe Rugby Union we are very excited we have managed to fulfil the mandate of the Currie Cup. We were looking to ensure that we gave the technical committee enough opportunity to have a look at all possible players that would be available to represent us in the Africa Cup,” Jani said.
He said the Currie Cup sojourn had not come cheap given costs that come with playing “away from home’’.
“I think the number one take-away from the Currie Cup is the issue of the cost. You really have to ensure you have the right partners and very strong partners that can walk the journey with you because it is very costly for you to look at bringing and having players to commit for a three- to four-month period without worrying about their families, worrying about their upkeep. You really have to have solid partnerships for that.”
The Currie Cup, he added, showed the need to have an extended squad to be able to cater for injuries, among other emergencies.
“And probably the biggest take-away is that we do need to have a home base in our own home, so, in other words, we need to have games that will be played in Zimbabwe so that we can rally our supporters and our stakeholders back home.
“That is definitely a must and we will look at that option so that in future we can have our games being played at home and rally our troops to support us.”
He also said they expect the mental capacity of the Sables to carry them through on occasions when they spend prolonged periods away from home.