Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) says they anticipate that the senior national team that will be competing at the annual Africa Silver Cup 2018 tournament will rise up the ranks and improve from their current rank.
The Rugby men’s senior national team will be competing in next month’s Silver Cup tournament to be hosted by Lusaka, Zambia. The president of BRU, Lesedi Keekae says the ideal target is to move from silver cup to Gold cup where, “the six participating teams have been divided into two groups/pools where the group winners will play in the final and the winner advances to a higher level, Gold Cup 2019. Teams that will participate in the tournament include Botswana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Algeria, Senegal and Zambia.
Botswana is in the South pool with Zambia and Madagascar whilst the North pool comprises of Algeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
“We will be going there aiming high and we want the rankings to also improve and we are determined to achieve that. The ideal target is to advance to a higher stage. If we don’t achieve that we have to maintain our status and avoid dropping to the lower stage,” says Keekae.
With regards to preparations the BRU president said, “Our preparations started a bit late but that does not mean it is an excuse. We are going all out to do our best. The trials were conducted the past two weekends where 30 players were selected,” says Keekae. The 23 final squad members will be selected in two weeks time.
He further explained that the team is scheduled to travel to Soweto, South Africa, to play a trial match against one of the South African sides. The other two preparatory matches will be organised before the team goes into final camp. BRU is looking into playing one side from Zimbabwe and another against a South African side.
Keekae revealed that one of the challenges they are facing is a small budget: “We are constrained to execute our plan fully because of lack of funds. We are talking to potential sponsors to augment the little budget we have. The other challenge is that most of the players are committed at work and are often not released on time to report to camp.”
The tournament is expected to start on 8th July ÔÇô 14th July.