Harare 7s – On September 17th and 18th, Harare (Zimbabwe) will host the 8 best teams of 7s women’s rugby in Africa : Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Senegal, Madagascar, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
These two days will be the occasion for the teams to meet again and to level up before next year for the qualification to the 7s World Cup 2018.
Year after year players are improving. The competition gets more and more spectacular, a real bargain for all. Indeed, while women’s rugby is still a weakness for many continents, Africa try to sake things up ! If some as Kenya, Uganda or Madagascar are already well advanced, others like Tunisia are latching on this great opportunity. This is how, in 2016, Africa was the best continent in terms of girls’ rugby development.
Last year, the competition already reached a very good level. It must be said that the stakes were particularly high : a participation to the Olympics ! Kenyans finally qualified and got a chance to represent their national flag in Rio.
How will it be this year ?
Tunisia has its own women’s 7s championship since 2002. In 14 years, the girls were crowned 3 times the champions of North Africa, African champions in 2012 in Morocco and finished at the 2nd position in Amsterdam’s tournament. A huge hit list which could scare the other teams.
For all that, Uganda has to prove its worth and doesn’t want to leave this chance to another team. Between 2006 and 2011, the team always ended at the 2nd place of the Africa Cup 7s. Then, from 2014, they fell and ended at the 5th and 7th position. Qualified for the 2009 World Cup, they represented Africa alongside South Africa ; this year they wish to be back at the peak of their fame !
And what can we say about South Africa ? The Springbok Women’s won the Africa Cup in 2014, 2011, 2008, 2007 and 2006 ! Coach Dazel stays wise “There will certainly be no easy matches, so we have to be switched on from our first match and build momentum throughout the competition. This will be particularly important since we still have to build our match fitness after only getting together as a team two weeks ago.”
“Zimbabwe showed in the Rugby Africa Olympic Qualifier last year that they are a passionate and determined side, and the fact that they will be playing in front of their home crowd will motivate them even more,” said Dazel.
Competition promise to be tough…