The national rugby team, Silverbacks, have stepped up preparations as Rwanda gears up for its debut in the Africa Rugby Silver Cup match against Ivory Coach on November 23, in Abidjan.
Training three times a week at Gatenga grounds, in Kicukiro, the 48-man provisional squad is dominated by players from recently crowned champions Lion de Fer, runners-up Thousand Hills, Kigali Sharks and Resilience rugby club.
In an interview on Friday, Livingston Muhire, the administrator of Rwanda Rugby Federation, told Saturday Sport that the early training is a good opportunity for head coach Claude Ezaou to take his players through pace and fitness drills before entering residential camp next month.
“The team was assembled early so that Coach Ezaou can evaluate the players’ form and fitness before naming the final 23-member squad. The target is to beat Ivory Coast at home.”
Rwanda was initially placed in Pool B along with Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mauritius in a tournament that was scheduled for June 15-23, but, it was cancelled following the withdrawal of sponsorship from Kwese Sports.
The Silverbacks earned promotion to Africa SilverCup last November following the Africa Rugby Federation’s move to increase the number of teams from six to eight in the division.