Botswana men’s national rugby senior team, ‘The Vultures’ has checked in camp ahead of the Rugby Africa Silver Cup tournament scheduled for Zambia from the 6th to the 13th July. The tournament will see six African teams, namely Botswana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Algeria, Senegal and hosts Zambia battling it out for the much coveted top prize.
Botswana Rugby Union (BRU)’s President Lesedi Keekae confirmed that the team is in camp adding that they have had several camps to try and prepare the team for the games.
“We have been having camps for the past 6 weeks, getting ready for the big games, bearing in mind that these games are big and our team has to leave a legacy there as well as maintain consistency in the games,” he said.
Asked why they sent the team on camp to Jwaneng, Keekae explained that the place was ideal as it is isolated and has fewer distractions. “We needed to remove them from this place because they have been in camps in the city for some time now; a different atmosphere would do the team justice. Also it will give the team enough time to bond which is very crucial for them as they will be together full time,” Keekae said.
It is said that the team will also go through psychological sessions which are said to have always proved helpful.
“The boys will see a psychologist to check how ready they are for the tournament, prepare them mentally and see how they will adapt under different situations,” said the BRU President.
Keekae highlighted that despite not having enough time to prepare he is optimistic that the team will represent the country well.
“Six weeks is not enough for preparing for such games, nonetheless we have assembled the best team and they will do well,” he said.
He also noted that with the just ended league games, they had trouble getting the team together on camp as players were busy in their various clubs which is why they needed to speed up and finish the league fast.
Moreover, Keekae added that they are left with the last phase of the team preparation. “The camp in Jwaneng ends on the 2nd, we are expecting the last camp in Gaborone two days before the team leaves for the tournament and we are also aware of the necessity of us winning the tournament,” he added.
Three matches will be played for each pool (North and south), on the 8th of July, the 11th of July and the 14th of July 2018, with the final being played on the 25th of August 2018. In the North pool Algeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast will play each other whilst in the South pool Botswana, Zambia and Madagascar will face each other.