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Maritz Eyes World Cup Qualification

by Bustop TV News

By Trevor Makonyonga

The Zimbabwe Rugby senior men’s team manager, Jason Maritz has said his team’s priority is France and a World Cup qualification.

Maritz said this to Bustop TV at the recently held Nedbank Challenge Cup held at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare.

The Zimbabwe team manager said the Sables were not going to lose focus because of the Currie Cup but rather were going to use the tournament to beef up the squad.

He said, “We need to understand that our priorities are France our priorities are to win in France and qualify for the World Cup. Don’t get me wrong we will use the Currie Cup to play good rugby and to definitely want to win a couple of games but we shouldn’t lose sight of what we are using the Currie Cup for and that is to make sure that the team is gelled and built and conditioned enough to take on Namibia and Ivory Coast in the quarter and semi final respectively. We are going to look forward to good rugby and I think in 2019 we played Supersport challenge we did okay with a bit of a weaker team than what we are looking at now so I am looking at a couple of wins along the way.”

Maritz added that some foreign based players had approached him and that they might include some new players for the Currie Cup.

“Without giving away too much, we have spoken to a lot of the players and a lot of new faces have approached us as well. I suppose when the wheels are turning and things are going well people want to be on that bus so we will be looking at blending a couple of guys in at the Currie Cup who are in the professional leagues in Europe and around the world we would look to bring in those players for our camp in France and in the actual tournament.

“The talent is there and we have always known that it is just that the lads haven’t had lots of opportunities over the last three years with COVID playing such a disturbing role. Awesome to have rugby back I think the cards have shown that there is a hunger to have rugby back to watch the local talent. I think there is an element of spice that if you do well, the selectors are there looking at potentially picking talent for the Goshawks so there is a lot to play for.”

Asked on where the general outlook of rugby, Maritz said that he hoped to make the sport professional in the country.

“Firstly, the outlook is that we are playing rugby again which is a great start. We have to start somewhere and I think local talent has bled a lot over the years because we haven’t been playing guys have gone overseas and South Africa to play rugby. What want to do is to bring stability back have tournaments like this, have a super 6 running professionalise the league to apoint where players would rather play rugby in Zimbabwe than go play in South Africa. It is early days, its great to have rugby back and there is a lot of work to be done,” he said.

Zimbabwe will participate in the Currie Cup first division which will take place from March 26 to June 18.

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