THE Zimbabwe national sevens rugby team is set to take part in the inaugural World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in February 2020.
The World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series is a tournament aimed at taking rugby sevens to new nations and further growing the popularity and participation in the game.
Zimbabwe will join Brazil, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Tonga, Uganda, Uruguay and three invitational teams Colombia, Mexico and Paraguay at the event.
The two-legged Challenger Series will be played in Chile on February 15 and 16 and in Uruguay on February 22 to 23.
The final play-off tournament will be hosted alongside the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event in Hong Kong from April 3-5, 2020.
The top eight teams in the Challenger Series will compete in the final play-off tournament for a spot in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, replacing the bottom-placed team of the World Series.
Zimbabwe sevens team manager Simba Dangah said they should be in Chile on February 11 and in Uruguay on February 17.
“After the Africa Cup Qualifiers held in Johannesburg, the team broke camp and players went back to their bases to continue with their Sevens Rugby season. We continue to monitor the players and are in constant contact with their team coaches and management,” said Dangah.
“The head coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba said to prepare for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series the Cheetahs will have a local training camp in the second week of January 2020 to gauge the aptitude of the players.”
World Rugby head of competition and performance Mark Egan said the tournament will allow more nations to participate in the sport.
“The competition will allow unions outside of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to compete on a more regular basis with a clear pathway to the highest level. Launching next year will provide an excellent platform for nations to develop and improve their competitiveness ahead of Tokyo 2020 and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in South Africa,” Egan said.
World Rugby also said that the women’s Challenger Series will be announced in due course.