Zimbabwe’s U18 girls’ rugby team continues to break new ground after being drawn to face South African giants Blue Bulls in the main game of the opening day of the 2018 SA Rugby National Girls U18 Week on June 25.
The girls’ team has been Zimbabwe’s best performing youth side in Youth Week Rugby Festivals held in South Africa annually, eclipsing the Zimbabwe boys’ Under-18, Under-16 and Under-13 sides.
All four youth teams are sponsored by Old Mutual Zimbabwe as part of their broad sponsorship of local schools rugby, covering development of teams in disadvantaged communities, tag rugby as well as provincial and national select sides.
The girls’ side has, however, been a cut above the rest since their debut in 2015 and will be hoping to continue their fine form during this year’s tournament to be held at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg, South Africa from June 25 to 29.
Last year the Nsikelelo Sibanda-coached side set the bar high after winning all their three matches in Welkom, Free State – their best perfomance since their debut in 2015.
They built on their victories against Griquas (39-5) and Blue Bulls (5-0) in the opening two days of the weeklong long festival by delivering another impressive attacking performance in their 20-15 victory over Boland on the final day at the North West Stadium.
A training squad of 51 players which was selected during the 2018 Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival has so far held three training camps at Alex Sports Club on May 20, 27 and June 2 in preparation for this year’s tournament.
The training squad is dominated by players from Goromonzi High School, who provide 10 players while Vainona has eight players with Girls High have six players each in contention for a place in the final squad.