HARARE – The 2016 Saru Gold Cup trophy heads for Harare this weekend and is set to be on display during the final pitting Old Georgians against Old Hararians at OGs Sports Club on Saturday.
Saru project manager for club rugby, Duane Health, will arrive with the trophy later this week.
The winner of the final will qualify for the Gold Cup tournament in South Africa scheduled to run between 10 and 29 October although the initial arrangement was that the championship-winning club would automatically qualify.
This will be the fourth season the competition will be running but only the first time under the name Gold Cup as previously it was known as the Community Cup and features non-university rugby union clubs in South Africa and now Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Harare Rugby League board member Roger Woodward said: “Yes he’s (Health) bringing the Cup apparently to display during the qualifier-final. It is a great opportunity for local rugby clubs to play the game at a higher level.
It has already increased the numbers now playing the game and if our representative does well it will show our rugby is of good quality.’
Woodward expressed misgivings over the pulling out of Harare Sports Club(HSC) at the semi-finals stage adding that it’s an issue the Zimbabwe Rugby Union has to deal with.
“HSC had their reasons for pulling out which is something that needs to be dealt with at the national level,” he said.
“It is sad that the sport itself suffered as we lost out on two great rivals facing off again but hopefully in the future, when the teething problems are sorted out things will become more straightforward again.”
The tournament’s format is similar to the one used at the Rugby World Cup with teams divided into four pools of five each.
The Zimbabwe representative will play in Pool C together with Durban Collegians, False Bay and White River with the last team yet to be confirmed.