17 teams register for MRFB Sevens tournament
SEVENTEEN teams consisting of 13 men’s and four women’s sides have registered for the Matabeleland Rugby Football Board (MRFB) Sevens tournament aimed at re-igniting an interest in the game at Hartsfield Ground tomorrow.
Rugby, once a crowd puller in Bulawayo, has virtually collapsed in the city and the newly elected board believes the Sevens format can get the clubs running.
The epic Old Miltonians and Western Panthers clash kickstarts the men’s event.
OMs, Panthers, Warriors, Lupane State University, Ancient City, Police Bulldogs and Midlands State University (MSU) Shabanie Campus are in Pool A, while Platinum Warriors, MSU, GZU, Bulldogs, OMs and Gweru Sports Club form Pool B.
The women’s teams comprise Eagles, Nyambosi, Bulldogs and Great Zimbabwe University.
Craig Change, the new MRFB secretary-general, who also doubles up as treasurer, said they are also using the Sevens tournament to attract partners.
“We are determined to revive rugby in the southern region because we believe that players from this side have missed out on national team opportunities because of lack of game time.
“This series of Sevens competitions is only the beginning of our ambitious drive to re-ignite rugby’s interest, not only in Bulawayo, but the whole of the southern region,” said Change.
“Our major challenge is that we do not have sponsors, but we believe that through this initiative and other plans we have, we will be able to attract corporate partners.
“We want to make rugby a sport worth playing and a sport that can be a profession,” he said.
He said MRFB is also aiming at establishing partnerships with schools for development purposes, as well as colleges and universities to increase their presence. — @ZililoR.