AS relations between World Rugby and the Zimbabwe Rugby Union continue to improve, the global body have dispatched a two-man delegation to the country on a mission to review the union’s operations.
They will also assess the areas which need strengthening.
Steph Nel, World Rugby’s rugby services manager for Africa, and Johnbosco Muamba, the global body’s development officer for Africa, flew into Harare for a five-day working visit.
ZRU vice-president (South) Martin Shone said yesterday they were happy with the progress they have made since assuming office and revealed World Rugby had increased by 5 000 pounds the annual grant being given to the union.
“When we came in, the country was on the brink of suspension and the grant to Zimbabwe had been slashed by half to 45 000 pounds and now it has been increased by 5 000 pounds,’’ he said.
“We are hoping that it will be increased to 90 000.
“We have managed to reduce the debt that we inherited from US$30 000 to close to US$100 000 and it is also a good thing that the World Rugby officials are coming at a time when we are hosting a tournament.’’
Nel outlined his mission in a letter to the ZRU last week, which he also used to congratulate the union’s boss Aaron Jani on his election to the Rugby Africa executive committee.
“First of all, allow me to congratulate you for being elected as Executive Committee Member of Rugby Africa and I want to wish you all the very best in facing this challenge.
“World Rugby is committed to working with our member Unions to support and assist them in the development of the game.
“We provide investment and support for a range of initiatives through our High Performance, Competitions and Development Investment Programs.
“I wish to inform you that World Rugby seeks to complete an annual review of your Union. The review aims to understand the context you are working in as well as assess the progress of your DIP application and Performance plans against your own Strategic Plan.
“The review will take place from 16th – 20th April 2019.
“Whilst in the country I’ll work with your staff and board on the New DIP process and Women’s pathway as well as provide support to the Rugby Africa RDO in analysing your growing the game needs.’’ Herald