CHEETAHS head coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba says he will set a rebuilding mission in motion at the Nashua Middleburg Sevens which takes place in Mpumalanga on Friday and Saturday.
The national Sevens (7s) team mentor said he would be looking to fuse some new players with the team’s seasoned campaigners gradually, with the ultimate goal of building a strong squad for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“This will be our first tournament since the World Cup in July and gives us a chance to start rebuilding the team for the future with the IRB World Series and the Olympics in mind,” he said.
“We have brought in some new faces into the squad in Hilton Mudariki and Biselele Tshamala and we are convinced they will fit into the system.
“We have also retained the team’s experienced players. While we would want to win as many matches as we can, the main objective will be to try out different combinations until we come up with the best possible squad.”
The Cheetahs, who leave for South Africa today will play against Wales, the emerging South African men’s sevens teams, Namibia and Botswana.
Some of the players Nyamutsamba would want to have a close look at is 22-year-old Durban based loose forward Tshamala.
A fierce ball-carrier who can run for the entire 80 minutes in the XVs format, the former Plumtree High School star who plays for Varsity Club College Old Boys, could be an exciting prospect in the Cheetahs outfit.
Tshamala, who has been training with the Sharks 7s team told our sister paper NewsDay Sport from his base in in South Africa that he was looking forward to making the transition from XVs rugby to the 7s format at international level.
He said although he was reluctant to make the transition at the start, he was now raring to go after receiving encouragement from club chairman Graham Thompson, an ex-Zimbabwe rugby player, Olympic swimmer and IRB referee.
“I’m looking forward to the camp and all. I have never liked 7s, but a lot of peeps encouraged me to go ahead and play and I hope to do well for the team at the Middleburg Sevens.
“My club chairman Graham Thompson, who is an ex-Zimbabwe rugby player, Olympic swimmer and IRB referee encouraged me to play. He sent my name to the Sharks 7s team as I am part of their training squad,” he said.
Fortune Chipendu, Boyd Rouse, Njabulo Ndlovu, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Lucky Sithole, Wes Mbanje, Kilvan Mangunje, Hilton Mudariki, Biselele Tshamala, Steven Hunduza, Gardner Nechironga and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo Coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba
Interim manager: David Crouch, Physio: Sharon Mkumbuzi