Likatola boss to spread talent net to SA

Likatola boss to spread talent net to SA

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Lesotho rugby coach Roy Zhou-Nyasha believes there is more untapped local talent in South Africa which could make the national side even stronger.

Currently Likatola have three key players, Lehlohonolo Matsoso, Lebohang Ntšinyi and Sechaba Mokhele, who are studying in South Africa.

Zhou-Nyasha said their experience of playing in South Africa where rugby is a professional sport helped the team during what was a memorable 2016.

In May, Likatola finished third at the Africa Cup Division 2 championship in Rwanda and ended their year by beating Malawi 31-11 away from home in August 27.

In total, Lesotho has won four of its seven international matches since its debut in 2014 and Zhou-Nyasha said finding more South African based players could elevate Likatola to even greater heights.

“I think we have a lot of players in South Africa that we are yet to discover and, if we can be able to track them down, I think they will strengthen the team,” he told thepost yesterday.

“We are good at the moment but you know the experience they have will be very vital for us.”

Zhou-Nyasha added that he would like to increase the pool of players at his disposal and one of the ways is to have more teams in the local Lesotho Rugby Championship. Currently there are five sides in Lesotho’s rugby top-flight.

“We have won the last few matches we have played and we have improved our tactics,” he said.

“However, we don’t have enough players in the positions 1, 2 and 3. Those are positions where the players are very heavy and we don’t have that size right now. But in all other positions we have more than enough players.”

The Likatola boss also endorsed King Letsie III’s wish to see Lesotho participate in the Olympic Games which is contested in the seven-a-side format of the game.

“It’s a reality because Olympics are 7’s rugby which is a smaller version of the game,” Zhou-Nyasha explained. “You see we have started the seven-a-side league this year because we are preparing a team to compete. It’s just a matter of hard work. The next Olympics are coming four years from now in 2020. Who knows?”

In the meantime, 2017 looks set to be a busy year with Likatola poised to play two Test matches in Asia. Zhou-Nyasha said the experience the players will gain from their busy schedule will benefit the country.

“Malawi wants to come here and play with us, so does Rwanda and we are looking to go to Asia,” he said.

“We are going to have many games for exposure. The more games we play the better we will be.”

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