By RONALD CHAWE –
THE Zambia menís 15s rugby team is today expected to report for the residential camp in Lusaka to start preparations for the Africa Rugby (AR) qualifying tournament to be held in Madagascar next month.
Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) general secretary Francis Chitambo confirmed the development in an interview and said that the team would be camped at Magodi Lodge near the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka.
He said 19 players picked from the trials would be training from the Lusaka showgrounds as well as the OYDC.
The team was picked last week during the Copperbelt versus Midlands trials held at Ndola Wanderers Rugby Club.
The Africa Rugby menís 15s qualifier is set to kick-off from July 10 and will run until July 19, in Madagascar.
Zambia will be among the six teams at next monthís Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Group 1B tournament in Madagascar which will see one team earn promotion to Group 1A and another drop to Group 1C.
Zambia has been placed in Group B alongside the host nation Madagascar and Senegal, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Botswana. The team is coached by Chishimba Mwamba and assisted by Joshua Lungu and Maybin Sinkala.
Chitambo said it would be an achievement for Zambia to move two levels up in just two years after qualifying to Group 1B last year when the country hosted the tournament.
The winner of the tournament will go to Group 1A while the bottom placed team will drop to 1C while the rest will maintain their status in 1B.
The players expected in camp are Tonny Summertone, Ephraim Musukwa, Chalwe Chaonza, Ferdinand Kashimoto, Nigel Chibwe, Enock Mutembo, Leonard Malupenga and Tedious Chipoya.
Others are Emmanuel Daka, Laston Mukosa, Edward Mumba, David Kombe, Peter Lishika, Simon Kampindu and Israel Kalumba.
The reserves are Kunda Mbaza, Wezi Chibale, Patrick Samwika, Emmanuel Musonda and Dean Zulu.