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Rugby sevens coach starts team selection for regional tourney

Leemisa Thuseho

THE national rugby sevens coach, Morapeli Motaung has started selecting players for the 2022 Rugby Africa Regional Sevens tournament.

The tournament will be held on 15 and 16 January 2022 in Mauritius.

Lesotho are the defending champions after winning the competition in 2019 in ‘Mantšonyane, Thaba-Tseka.

The Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) is currently running a two-week sevens tournament which started yesterday at Mabote Ground.

FLR secretary general, Litšitso Motšeremeli, told the Sunday Express this weekend that the tournament was meant to help the technical team select its team. The tournament is open to all registered clubs.

“In preparation for the event, we have organised a tournament for coaches to start selecting their team for January,” Motšeremeli said on Friday.

“The games are starting on Saturday (yesterday) and run until next weekend at Mabote Ground.”

Meanwhile, the national 15-aside rugby league is now on hold to accommodate the sevens tournament.

On his part, Motaung said the tournament was crucial to help him and his technical side in selecting players. Since the team was last in action in 2019, he said it would not be easy to select players based on their previous performance.

“The tournament will help us see players who are ready for selection. We can’t rely on players whom we have been using all along because some have lost fitness,” Motaung said.

He intends to select a provisional squad of 20 which will later be trimmed to 12.

Motaung is hopeful that he will get the necessary support once the team is finalised to help him intensify preparations.

“We want to start our preparations as soon as possible because we have been away from action for a long time. Although this is the same tournament we won in 2019, this time around it will be against different countries and it will be a different task altogether.”

In 2019 Lesotho won the tournament ahead of Mozambique and eSwatini, while the confirmed counties for next year’s edition are Malawi, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), eSwatini and the hosts, Mauritius.

The tournament will also be used as a qualifier for 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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