Zimbabwe is all set to host four group B fixtures of the 2019 edition U20 Barthés Trophy in Harare, fans will be treated to two back-to-back matches on the eve of Independence day 17 April at The Machinery Exchange Stadium, Harare Sports Club.
The Junior Sables, Zimbabwe’s uner-20 side will host Ivory Coast at 14:00 hrs. and Morocco face Madagascar on the same field at 17:00 hrs.
Harare Sports Club will host the remaining two fixtures on the 20th of April at 10:00 hrs. and 12:00 hrs. – Loser 1 and 2 will play in the first match while the winners play in the second match.
The Barthes comprises of 12 teams, it is the only Rugby Africa junior tournament, Namibia were the overall champions in the 2018 Barthes Cup based on a superior aggregate.
This year’s edition is composed of three ranking-based groups in which each team will play two matches.
For Zimbabwe qualification will mean promotion from Group B into the Group A.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union vice-president Losson Mtongwiza is upbeat about Zimbabwe’s possibility of qualifying.
“Judging from the level of commitment and the serious competition we have had in the Harare Provincial Under-20 league I am sure we have a good chance of being promoted this year.”
“The caliber of players we have produced have had senior national team coaches looking at the boys and I have no doubt that the team’s management will continue their fine performance,” said Mtongwiza.
Zimbabwe will be coached by Farai ‘Bob’ Muhari and Jeffrey Madhake who are the same coaching pair that have led local Under-21 Champions the Pitbulls to three championships and have led their club through three years without ever losing a match or having conceded a draw.
Upcoming senior men’s stars have risen from the ranks straight from the under-20 set up with the likes of Matthew Mc Nab, Jeremiah Jaravaza and Cleopas Kundiona getting their first Test caps in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup after impressive performances in the 2018 edition.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Barthes tournament with two group A matches taking place in Nairobi, Kenya where Namibia hosts Senegal and Tunisia face Kenya.
The winner of the Pool C will be promoted in Pool B, the winner of Pool B will be promoted in Pool A, the loser of Pool A will be relegated in Pool B, the loser of Pool B will be relegated in Pool C, and the loser of Pool C will let his place for a new team in 2020.
The losers and winners will play-off on the 7th and determine which team will be relegated.
Uganda and Ghana will open Group C round of matches in Kampala followed by Algeria versus Zambia
Group A Namibia,Tunisia, Kenya and Senegal
Group B Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Madagascar
Group C Uganda, Algeria, Zambia and Ghana
Group A Fixtures
4 April Namibia v Senegal Nairobi
4 April Tunisia v Kenya Nairobi
7 April Loser 1 v Loser 2 Nairobi
7 April Winner 1 v Winner 2 Nairobi
17 April Zimbabwe v Ivory Coast Harare
17 April Morocco v Madagascar Harare
20 April Loser 1 v Loser 2 Harare
20 April Winner 1 v Winner 2 Harare
8 May Uganda v Ghana Kampala
8 May Angola v Zambia Kampala
11 May Winner 1 v Winner 2 Kampala
11 May Loser 1 v Loser 2 Kampala