Zimbabwe rugby will for the first time have an independently owned professional rugby franchise in Kuva Blue Thunder.
Announcing the birth of the side, the founders also said the rugby franchise will participate in a competitive international rugby union.
“There has long been a desire to professionalize the game of rugby in Zimbabwe whilst bridging the gap between its successful high school system, club structures and National teams,” read a press statement by Kuva Blue Thunder co-founder Jason Maritz.
“This has led to the birth of Kuva Blue Thunder – Zimbabwe’s first independently owned professional rugby franchise that will participate in competitive international rugby union.”
A number of national unions and potential franchises held a meeting in Cape Town last month, to discuss the establishment of a new franchise competition to be launched in December 2022.
“The objective of the new competition is to provide a pathway to the top table of rugby union by enabling more players and franchises in high potential countries to compete regularly with quality opposition, raising the competitiveness of the game overall,” said Maritz who is also Sables team manager.
“Substantial detailed progress was made with all parties agreeing their intention to proceed and to move onto an approval process (including in accordance with Rugby’s regulations) as well as demonstrating their ability to meet eligibility criteria.”
According to the statement, nations represented at the Conference were South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Italy, Spain, Germany, Romania and USA.