Africa-Press – Lesotho. LESOTHO will host the 2019 Rugby Africa Regional Sevens South tournament next month. Lesotho has been given the rights to host the international competition by the continent’s governing body, Rugby Africa, and four countries will touch down in Lesotho to compete for the 2019 crown.
The countries expected to join Lesotho in the five-nation championship are the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Burundi and Congo Brazzaville.
Last year the tournament was held in Burundi and Lesotho claimed silver after falling 15-5 to the DRC in the final. Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) general secretary Litšitso Motšeremeli said Lesotho got the better of the DRC this time around to host the event.
The hope is that home-field advantage will propel Lesotho one step further. The Regional Sevens South tournament is significant because it is a pathway for countries to enter the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“We bid to host these games and we were competing with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi,” Motšeremeli said.
“These are big games that, if we win, Lesotho will be at a point where we can go to the Olympics. Last year we competed in the same tournament and we finished second. We were in Burundi and DRC beat us in the finals.
Motšeremeli said the tournament will be hosted in Bocheletsane, Mantšonyane at the newly-minted sports facility built by the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) for the Bocheletsane Combined School.
“The confirmation is already there that these countries will be here,” he said.
“It is our responsibility as the hosts to make sure they have a nice stay in the country.
Taking the continental championship to Mantšonyane is part of the FLR’s drive to take rugby to all parts of Lesotho.
As part of the initiative, the FLR will send six coaches to the region. Three will be coaching at schools in Mantšonyane and another three will go to Thaba-Tseka.
“We advised ourselves as a federation that we want rugby to be all over the country,” Motšeremeli said.
“These games will be played in Bocheletsane, Mantšonyane. We have already talked to MGC and they said they will sponsor us and let us use the grounds for free. We will only pay for accommodation.”