The Botswana women’s national rugby sevens team heads for Zimbabwe to take part in an all women tournament that will feature teams from Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa.
The team is expected to leave for Zimbabwe by bus early Friday morning. Speaking to Telegraph Sport, the team’s coach Shaun Lees expressed confidence that his charges will do well at the tournament.
“Our preparations have gone very well and the ladies have been training together,” Lees said.
Lees said going into the games, the team has no serious injuries but only ‘pains and aches’ which will hopefully be healed by the time the team leaves the country. With rugby sevens’ team being less contact and more movement, the coach says the team’s training has been emphasizing on aspects such as fitness and tactical awareness.
Lees said taking into consideration also the fact that local ladies do not have a strong physique, it was important that emphasis be on speed, agility and endurance.
“For this team, 75% of it is made of speedy players and I have confidence we can even make it to the finals,” he added.
The tactician says the team has been showing tremendous improvement in the past three years of its existence. He cited the teams’ Zambian Castle 7s tournament sojourn as a testimony to such stating that the team even managed to upset Zambia which had by then not tasted defeat in their backyard for a long time.
“We have also been working hard on the team’s shortcomings as were exposed in Zambia during the sevens’ tournament and we hope to do a lot better,” Lees further told Telegraph Sport.
With the upcoming 2014 World cup qualifiers which are scheduled to start next year in mind, the games will be a welcome development for the team and will give it a necessary training.
The team is no foreigner to international tournaments, having made its maiden African World cup qualifiers at Uganda in 2008 as well as having participated in other high profile tournaments including the castle sevens’ tournament in Zambia for the past two years. The team is managed by Lila Pavey.