The Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) is set to send youth teams to the annual South African (SA) Provincial Craven and Youth Week rugby festivals for age group rugby.

Following the conclusion of the Dairiboard Schools Rugby Festival, successfully hosted at Prince Edward, ZRU general manager Sifiso Made said the second school term marks the busiest period of the year, concerning rugby.

He said, after the successful negotiations with ZRU partners and sponsors, all the age group teams will once again participate at the SA festivals despite the challenging economic situation prevailing in the country.

“We are happy that we have successfully negotiated with our partners and sponsors and are able to send age group sides to SA on tour although our budgets have to be revised downwards due to economic challenges. Austerity measures may be introduced to ensure we continue participating, giving the youngsters the much-needed international experience and exposure,” he said.

The conclusion of the Dairiboard Schools Rugby Festival has seen the selection and in some case announcement of the age group provisional sides that have since begun their preparations for the SA tours where they compete against SA provincial sides namely Limpopo, Sharks, Lions, Griffons, Cheetahs, North West Province, Western and Eastern Cape, among others.

The U13 Craven week and U16 Grand Khomo week will be hosted at the Hoerksool Rob Fereira in Mpumalanga from June 24-28 with the national girls U16 week and U18 week returning to Jeppe High School in Johannesburg from June 17-21.

The U18 Craven week will return to Greys College in Bloemfontein for the first time since 2005, when the popular schools rugby showcase plays out from July 1-6, 2019.

The flagship tournament in the SA rugby youth week series will run concurrently with the academy week at the Greys College.