THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) yesterday said it was “honoured” to host IRB vice-president — South African Oregan Hoskins — and respected Zimbabwe-born coach Ian McIntosh next week adding that it was an opportunity for them to strengthen relations with their South African counterparts.
Hoskins, who is also the president of the South African Rugby Union and the Bulawayo-born ex-Springboks coach McIntosh, arrive in the country on Sunday.
The pair are expected to grace the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival which gets underway at Prince Edward High School in the capital next Monday.
“Zimbabwe Rugby are very honoured to have Oregan Hoskins, the president of the South African Rugby Union and Ian McIntosh, the national selector of the South African national team who are coming to Zimbabwe for the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival,” ZRU said in a statement yesterday.
“During this visit the Zimbabwe Rugby Union will be hosting these guests with the main agenda being to strengthen relations between our rugby unions. The Dairibord Schools Festival (formally Cottco) is commonly regarded as the biggest schools rugby festival in the world, from a participation point of view. For this reason the tournament will offer the ZRU, through the Festival Organising Committee, an opportunity to implement a number of initiatives to drive the sport forward.”
Oregan, according to ZRU is expected to be the guest speaker at a fund-raising dinner for the national XVs rugby team the Sables who will bid to qualify for their first World Cup for the first time in 24 years.
“On Wednesday 7th May, both Oregan Hoskins and Ian McIntosh have kindly agreed to speak at a fundraising dinner for the Zimbabwe Sables, who will be preparing for Rugby World Cup qualifiers in Madagascar,” he said.
“Oregan Hoskins is also the vice-president of the International Rugby Board and McIntosh, born in Zimbabwe, has over 20 years of coaching experience at the highest levels of South African Rugby, which makes for a very entertaining evening.”
Meanwhile, during the Schools Rugby Festival, ZRU will be working with the tournament’s organising committee to implement a coach education programme that will be supported by McIntosh.
This programme will look to up-skill coaches at all levels. McIntosh will also run a coaching programme with the Zimbabwe U-20 players and the senior national side the Sables.
McIntosh who was last year linked with a return to the Sables technical department, grew up in Kwekwe and Bulawayo.
An injury, very early in his career ensured he never represented Zimbabwe at international level.
McIntosh became acquainted with coaching in the 1970s under the tutelage of the then Welsh Rugby Union coaching director Ray Williams.
He later took charge of the Zimbabwe rugby team for seven years, although his biggest achievement to date was taking charge of the South African national side.