Wheeling, W.Va. – Earlier this summer, it was announced that Wheeling University Rugby player Rua Karimazondo was picked for the U20 Zimbabwe National Team training squad. He joined 60 of the best Rugby players from his home country as they began training for the World Rugby U20 International Series, running August 9th – 24th in Ontario, Canada. Throughout July, the roster was trimmed down to 30 players who will make the final trip, and Karimazondo was announced as one of the top 30 who will make the trip to Ontario Canada.
The World Rugby U20 International series is being held in place of the normal World Rugby U20 Championship, which has been put on hold the last two seasons due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2022, these teams will compete in different regional championships, allowing for the teams to continue to get competition while still preparing for the return of the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2023. Zimbabwe will be competing in the Canada Conference, which features Canada, Chile , and Uruguay converging on Ontario, Canada.
Karimazondo was a big part of the Cardinals offense last season, that saw the team set a program record going 34-8-1 combined between 15’s and 7’s season. Karimazondo scored one try throughout the 15’s season and scored several more tries as the year moved into the 7’s season. However, his biggest try of the year came on a Saturday afternoon against Davenport. With the Cardinals trailing 26-22, Karimazondo found his way across the goal line to give Wheeling a 27-22 lead, and the ensuing conversion kick made it a 29-22 game with four minutes to play. The Cardinals would end up tying the Panthers 29-29, saving them from what would have been a three-game losing streak.
Joining Karimazondo will be new Wheeling University Rugby recruit Alex Nyamunda, who will begin his Cardinals career during the Fall 15’s season. Wheeling Head Rugby Coach Mike Geibel is excited to see two representatives on the national stage as Wheeling continues to grow into a powerhouse Rugby program.
“We are incredibly proud of Rua and Alex being selected for the Young Sables team to travel to Canada,” said Geibel. “Rua is a leader on the Wheeling team and works very hard to be the best player he can be. Similarly, I was very impressed with Alex during the recruiting process and we’re happy to have him joining the program once the U20 competition is completed. We are excited for the two young men to bring this experience back to the team and look forward to watching them compete.”
The Wheeling University Rugby team reports for its Fall training camp on Saturday, August 6th, as they prepare for their season opener against Queens University of Charolette on Saturday, September 3rd.