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Zimbabwe charms SA's Vodacom Bulls

by Tinashe Kusema
07 Feb 2016 at 07:46hrs | Views
SOUTH African Super Rugby franchise Vodacom Bulls have pledged to return to Zimbabwe and make the Zimbabwe Champions' Cup a part of their annual program.

The three time Super Rugby champions were in the country for a week-long visit which ended with their clash against the Cheetahs at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

During their time in Zimbabwe, the team visited some of the country's tourist attractions, including the majestic Victoria Falls, and embarked on a series of coaching clinics.

Newly appointed coach, Nollis Marais believes the visit was mutually beneficial to all the parties involved and expressed his desire to see more of the same in the coming years.

"We have a very young team and the visit afforded us the opportunity to bond as a unit and as a family," said Marais.

"We had some training sessions, tried different combinations and the game against the Cheetahs provided us with the opportunity to try them out.

"With the additions of the new teams and the new rules, we have to get used to playing under different conditions and if l am to be totally honest, Zimbabwe is as good a place to start as any,' he said.

On his time here in Zimbabwe, Marais said he was pleasantly surprised by the welcome he received and would definitely welcome the chance to return and make the visits an annual thing.

"There are so many highlights from my stay here in Zimbabwe.

"I had never been to Zimbabwe and you always have this preconceived perception of how a place looks before you first visit and l was pleasantly surprised when we landed here.

"Victoria Falls is one the grand wonders of the world and it lived up to expectations. We came to Harare and the welcome we got was simply out of this world.

"The people made us feel welcome, the organisers took good care of us, so much so that l even noticed that some of my players gained weight.

"The kids we met during the coaching clinics have a lot of talent and their desire to learn and love for the sport really left a mark on me.

"I really want to come back here as early as possible and hopefully make this game a regular thing,' he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the organisers of the match, Kyros Sports, who have revealed their intentions to approach the Bulls and other franchises with the hopes of bringing them here for future assignments.

"The plan has always been to make the Champions Cup an annual event and this game (yesterday's clash) was a trail run," said Kisset Chirengende, Kryos Sports' founder.

"We have already identified a couple of areas to work on to improve the appeal of the game and we hope to learn as much as we can for future assignments.

"Nothing concrete has been put on paper but we have already begun talks with both teams to have them come again next year.

"Hopefully, they will spread the world and we can get more and more teams to come on aboard,' he said.

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