By Trevor Makonyonga
The Zimbabwe women rugby team, Lady Sables, are yet to receive payments from their administration after their two weeks camping and the double headers played against Zambia in Harare.
Lady Sables Team manager, Tecla Jeri said the team had a short time to prepare for the games against Zambia.
“As you know our ladies last played any form of rugby over 18 months ago and our game was only confirmed 2 weeks prior. We basically had 2 weeks to prepare a side for the 2 games. The games were also to assist the new coach assess the players and their capabilities since we have an official test match against Uganda in July.”
She added that the team had not been paid yet, “No they didn’t. We are working on it.”
In the same vain, the Women’s rugby chairperson, Abigail Mnikwa said that there were sponsorships which would be unveiled soon.
She said, “A lot of people would want to compare the Sables and the Lady Sables but we are two different entities. Right now we are about to announce sponsors so people have to wait and see where we are going. “
There were rumors doing the rounds that Mnikwa tagged foreign based players as unpatriotic and that she had denied some players to be part of the current setup; which she denied.
“I am actually shocked at these allegations. I do not get involved in the selection. You can ask the coach. There is a selection panel with the club coaches. My role is strictly administrative. As for the foreign based players, we want them to come and we need to bring them. We have two playing in Poland and two in South Africa. We need everyone at this point.”
Mnikwa also reflected on the Zambia matches adding the Lady Sables were not as prepared as their opponents.
“The Zambia games came last minute. We were focused on the test against Uganda and we were only told last minute that they are bringing the ladies side. There have been a lot of improvements in that Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) is very supportive of ladies rugby.”
The Lady Sables lost 32 – 21 and 38 – 17 to Zambia in the two matches they played on June 2 and 5. The team had glimpses of brilliance but ultimately proved inferior to the Northern neighbours.
As the announcement of sponsors is eagerly anticipated, maybe it could put behind the rumors of no bus fares for the players, mazoe, bread and polony during training and issues of non payments. Maybe the ghosts that have haunted ladies rugby will now be plucked out.