The Zimbabwe rugby team will be hoping to begin the Junior World Rugby Trophy on a positive note when they clash with Japan in an opening Pool B encounter late today.
After spending several weeks preparing for action, the Under 19s will be locking horns with Japan at Salt Lake City in the United States.
Having embarked on a 10-day training camp in France, the Young Sables will be looking to the likes of Justin Coles, Tapiwa Tsomondo and full back Victor Mushoriwa to inspire the team to victory.
The game will also present an opportunity for the Zimbabweans, who lost 37-24 to Japan last year, to inflict revenge on their opponents who have been impressive in recent years.
Japan has been in the final of the last two editions of the Junior World Rugby Trophy where they lost 36-7 to Italy in 2010 before narrowly losing 31-24 to last years champion’s Samoa.
While Japan go into Monday’s showdown as favourites, the Young Sables will be no pushovers. In 2010 Zimbabwe were able to hold Japan to a 20-all draw despite eventually ending on seventh position.
Brighton Chivandire’s charges who ended 8th after losing 29-30 to the United States in last year’s edition will be looking to improve.
Chivandire has already indicated the Zim under 20 side want to remain in the top six at the end of the tourney. Zimbabwe were drawn in Pool B together with Canada, Georgia and Japan.