THE expansion of rugby was bound to happen. In order for the game to grow, it is crucial to have a diverse representation of nations on the grandest stage, which is the World Cup.
Zimbabwean rugby has come close to success on numerous occasions, and it would be a monumental achievement for our nation and the sport in Zimbabwe if we could finally make it.
However, the expansion gives other nations like Kenya, United States, Spain, and Canada an equal opportunity to shine.
We all recognise that Zimbabwe is bursting with an abundance of talent, but unfortunately, we will not be able to showcase our skills on the world stage until more investment is directed towards our local league. It is crucial that additional funding is allocated to developing grassroots talent, including coaching, and enhancing the local rugby league.
Moreover, it is equally important to invest in the growth of the women’s game. I firmly believe that both our men’s and women’s teams have the potential to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. However, it is disheartening to see our female players, who proudly represent our nation, lacking rugby balls for training and struggling to obtain decent kit for practice and matches.
I kindly appeal to more corporates to rally behind our rugby and provide the support we need to thrive. Together, we can elevate Zimbabwean rugby to new heights!
*Record-breaking former Springbok winger Tonderai Chavhanga spoke to The NewsHawks in reaction to the expansion of the Rugby World Cup from 20 to 24 teams beginning with the next edition in Australia in 2027.