The Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) promises a better and competitive second edition of sevens circuit Rugby league which is set to kick start this coming weekend in Selebi Phikwe. The sevens circuit which is played by men and women consists of twelve men’s teams and six women’s teams.
BRU secretary general, Ernest Mantsi expressed optimism that the game of rugby is growing by leaps and bounds hence his belief that this year’s tournament will be very competitive. “There is improvement in the game of rugby in the country and the developmental programmes are bearing fruits. Rugby is progressing well in terms of ranking and the local teams have been doing well in international matches bringing home positive results,” observed Mantsi.
The sevens league is expected to run for six weeks with the first week being hosted by BDF Cheetahs in Phikwe. Jwaneng based Jwaneng Rugby Club will host the second league of matches and then Hogs will be the host in Gaborone. Teams play in a round robin format accumulating points as the league progress and the team that has gathered the most points will emerge winners.
Mantsi explained that all teams are given a chance to host the games as a way of developing and empowering them to gain necessary experience needed in hosting major events. BDF Cheetahs are the defending champions having won the inaugural edition in Gaborone in 2017.
The sevens league was supposed to have started last week but was postponed to a later date due to the unavailability of suitable grounds in Gaborone for the tournament. The games were supposed to have been hosted by Canon Jaguars.
“The Sevens league is expected to prepare players for the Rugby Africa Sevens which will be held in October in Tunisia. It will also assist in national team selections hence keeping players fit as clubs will be training intensively during the league duration. The league will also unearthing new talent” added Mantsi.
Mantsi highlighted that they expect to see growth and development in players. “At the end of the league, BRU hope to see the players’ skills and technical awareness to have improved. The league is also targeting at arousing interest for the girl child to enrol and participate in rugby,” explained Mantsi.