Home » Sports » Tour Leaves Zim Rugby Exposed

THE recent tour by the England Independent Schools side has left the Zimbabwe Rugby Union an exposed, if not embarrassed, lot. Instead of using the tour to prepare the Zimbabwe age grade-teams for the upcoming season that also sees junior national rugby team taking part on the international scene, including the Junior Africa Cup, Zimbabwe failed to capitalise on the English in-bound tour.

Having known last year that the Barbarians were to tour Zimbabwe, the ZRU made arrangements that the Britons would play Mbare Academy, Zimbabwe Under-19, Goshawks (Zimbabwe Under-19 second-string side) and Harare Lions.

Harare Lions were to be a Select Side that features rugby playing schools from the capital and these include Prince Edward, St John’s College, Churchill and St George’s College.

Most of the players that travelled to South Africa for the Under-18 Craven Week festival were from Harare schools, with St George’s College providing the bulk.

Somehow the ZRU failed to liaise with the Harare schools to come up with the Harare Lions side.

Ironically, the last time the Barbarians were here in 2011, the Harare Select side were the only team that beat the touring side.

On the day the Barbarians were scheduled to play the Harare Lions, Prince Edward had to come to the Union’s rescue by fielding their school team who suffered a 6-26 defeat at Harare Sports Club.

As if this was not enough, last Wednesday the ZRU sanctioned other schools tournaments, including the Dendairy Sevens, to go ahead yet the Goshawks were also supposed to play the Barbarians on the same day.

Had the Dendairy tournaments been played on Tuesday, then there was a higher chance of schools releasing their players to feature for the Goshawks.

Instead Zimbabwe fielded weak teams, instead of exposing those with the potential, to represent junior national teams.

In 2011, all the games against the Barbarians were closely-contested with the Harare Lions winning 23-22 before the tourists registered a 38-30 win over the Goshawks and 21-14 over Zimbabwe Under-19.

Source : The Herald