Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Vultures coach promises to mix experience with youth ahead of the 6 Nations

Botswana’s national rugby team Coach, Ivor Greaves has selected a 45 men preliminary squad to prepare for the Africa Cup 2014 Division 1C Championship. The tournament will be hosted by Botswana from the 14th to the 21st of June this year.

Speaking in an interview, ‘the Vultures” coach said the preliminary team is comprised of experience and youthful talent. “I want to have a team that is made of both the experienced and the youthful talent. I want to bring them together so that they gel. I want to get a winning combination,” said Greaves.

According to Greaves, the team will be divided into two pools, Pool A and Pool B, mixing youngsters with seasoned players. He said he has selected the 45 for Six Nations preparations in order to create more depth. The team will be trimmed into a 23 men squad before the tournament starts.

Among the youthful talent called into the provisional squad is The Riders tight head prop Frank Maphosa. The youngster has been on form and is tipped to make the final 23 men squad if he continues to impress the Vultures’ technical bench. Maphosa is joined in the team by another promising talent, Sean Lainsberg, who has been plying his trade in the South African First Division with the University of Pretoria (TUKS) rugby team.

With the more lucrative and professional South African first division league rated slightly better than the local league, Lainsberg who played for TUKS whilst student is expected to bring experience into the team.

Another youngster tipped to make the team is UB Rhinos’ Neo Mosieyane, who is emerging as one of the finest young talents expected to replace the old guard come the Africa Cup 2014 Division 1C Championship.

While intending to mix youth with experience for the tournament, Greaves has however insisted that he will not throw these youngsters into a deep end.

In an effort to beef up preparations ahead of the Six Nations Tournament, Greaves’s men took on professional South African side Leopard on Wednesday night. As part of their preparations, the Vultures will also play a friendly game against South Africa’s most successful rugby team, The Blue Bulls, of Pretoria. A friendly against Lesotho is also on the cards.

While the games will be very significant in preparations, the Vultures’ coach has however said results will not be very important as his emphasis is on developing young upcoming talent and making the team gel ahead of the games.

The tournament will feature six nations, namely, Botswana, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Swaziland and Zambia. Going into the tournament, Greaves has predicted a tough tournament for the Vultures, more especially when looking at the caliber of opponents such as Morocco who already have players plying their trade in the French leagues.

“The Moroccans are physically bulky and technical as you know how they play in the French league so they are going to be handy for the local boys,” said Greaves.

Despite the challenge faced by the Vultures, Greaves is however optimistic that his team, which will be buoyed by home support will repeat their heroics of 2012 and win the tournament.

Playing at home in the 2012 Division 1C tournament, the Vultures won the league and won promotion to the Africa Division 1B. The team was however relegated back to Division 1C the following year after faring badly at the Division 1B Championships in Senegal.

Should they win this year’s tournament and regain promotion into Division 1B, the hope is that the Vultures will then be able to at least retain their status in the division, should they not win it.

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