Zimbabwe: Maneta Twins to Make Sevens Rugby Debut

Zimbabwe will unleash an inexperienced but talented pair of identical twins Munesu and Munopa Muneta in today’s World Rugby Sevens Repechage squad against Mexico today with a lot of expectations.

Zimbabwe Cheetahs opponents will be seeing double in the former Hillcrest College pupils who have also been named in Zimbabwe’s Sables training squad in 15s ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifiers.

The duo have been marked as ones to watch for some time and head coach Danny Hondo admits he finds it hard to separate the pair in terms of looks and talent.

“For me as a coach, I am still struggling, so I just have to say a name and when they reply, I know who is who,” he said.

“They are both tall and have good skills. I wouldn’t say they are out-and-out fast but the exciting thing is they can do the unexpected.”

In the absence of regular captain Stephan Hunduza, the Cheetahs will be led in Monaco by Boyd Rouse.

The 27-year-old is the most experienced player in a squad dominated by rookies who are yet to make an appearance in a HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Former Western Province academy wing Sam Phiri has also been included in the squad after impressing on his national team bow in the recent Rugby Africa Solidarity Sevens. The Cheetahs have been training four days a week since January in a bid to integrate the new-look squad.

The coach said they are building a future team hence the inclusion of new blood.

“If you look at our team, we have got some guys making their debuts; we are building a new team,” Hondo said.

“It is going to be nice for the boys to be out there and associating with other international players. It’ll be good to see where we are compared to the other teams, and what we need to work on.

“We will try to compete but qualifying will definitely be a tough ask. If we do qualify, there is definitely someone behind us. The players would-be heroes.”

Zimbabwe open up with what appears, on paper at least, to be their most winnable game against Mexico before tackling Ireland, one of the pre-tournament favourites, and Pacific Island duo, Samoa and Tonga.

“Not many people get to go for the Olympics, and we actually do have a chance. We’ll just take it day by day,” said Hondo.- Sports Reporter/World Rugby

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