• Players have been training in their homes
• But mix of youth and experience gives coach some hope
The games will see Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mauritius battle out for the number one spot. The team that finishes first in the competition, which is scheduled for Maseru from 29 to 31 this month, will automatically qualify for the Africa Women’s Sevens Championships to be played sometime in April.
Botswana took part during the last edition of the competition. However, it is not going to be easy for Botswana to qualify yet again because they are going into the qualifying games poorly prepared. “Looking at our preparations, I would say we are not really prepared,” said Botswana’s women’s sevens rugby team coach Emmanuel Masinki in an interview.
“The players are not where I want them to be. They have been training in their homes since November and we only got into a training camp this week. We went into camp this late because we have been experiencing some technical glitches and financial problems.”
Masinki said he labels his team “not prepared” because of the amount of time that it has not touched the ball of rugby. “But looking at what others have been doing, I can say that we are not that bad,” he added. “We have been monitoring other teams and some are not prepared like us, which gives us a bit of hope that we could do well.
“This team is a mix of a few young players and experienced ones. We therefore have a bit of flair, speed and experience. This is what our team has been lacking for years and it gives me hope that we could do well in Lesotho.”