LESOTHO Sevens coach Morapeli Motaung says his charges are ready for the challenge that awaits them when they host the Rugby Africa Regional Sevens penciled in for Bocheletsane Ground, Mantšonyane this weekend.
The Lesotho team, which came second after Congo Brazzaville last year in the same tournament, will host Burundi, Mozambique and eSwatini with the defending champions also part of the two-day tournament.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who were initially scheduled to host the tournament before the rights were given to Lesotho, were suspended from the competition after an Ebola outbreak in the country. They were replaced by eSwatini on the list of participants.
Motaung told the Lesotho Times that they are now on their final lap of preparations and the team is currently in a weeklong camp in Mantšonyane.
“We arrived here (Mantšonyane) on Sunday and we have been doing two training sessions daily,” Motaung said.
“The reason for which we decided to come early was also to try and acclimatise with the altitude and we are already feeling a huge difference.”
He said this was their chance to take revenge on the defending champions Congo Brazzaville using the home advantage.
“We lost in the final last year and I still believe we could have won had we prepared properly. We also encountered several challenges and the best we could do was to come second.
“However, things are different this year. We are playing at home and we will have to use the advantage. The altitude is also high and that may work in our favour because the visitors are not used to it,” he said.
Motaung said his players have been training together for the past two months and the morale is high in his camp.
“It has not been an easy road but all the players have shown great determination. I had a headache when I have to select the final squad of 12 players eliminating four, but the decision had to be made and those four are still on standby. The morale is high and you see people who are determined to work hard and win the tournament,” said Motaung.
He said other countries are expected to arrive into the country today and will go straight to Mantšonyane where their accommodation is already sorted.
Lesotho 7’s full squad:
Sechaba Mokhele, Lebohang Ntšinyi, Bonki Mochesane, Motheo Mokhothu, Kubutu Makhakhe, Bokang Ncheke, Reatile Joele, Karabo Mphaki, Thabo Makuta, Paul Marie, Lehlohonolo Mohasi, Kelello Linakane
Players on standby:
Thabiso Morojele, Lebatla Lebatla, Lebohang Nthako and Ratoti Lebesa.