MASERU — The newly-formed Lesotho Rugby Club is set to compete in the Free State Rugby League beginning this year.
The club will play their first game of the season on February 4 against Qwaqwa away.
It is the first part of an adventure that will include Ladybrand, Clocolan, Marquard, Bethlehem and Ficksburg.
This is the first time a local rugby side will compete in the South African rugby league.
It is, for all intents and purposes, a tough challenge.
Nevertheless, one of the team’s coaches, Dennis Labuschagne, is not fazed.
“Our players are ready for the game,” he says.
The sturdily-built Labuschagne is also a player in the fledgling team.
In the coaching stakes he is assisted by Dan Aylward and the two have worked together to get the team into good shape.
They say confidence and commitment have got the team where it is in such a small space of time.
Khosi Mokhesi, one of the key players, is also upbeat about the team.
“Definitely, training has been promising. Saturday was the first time the whole team was together,” Mokhesi says.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of competing against Free State sides,” Labuschagne adds.
It won’t be easy ride.
Apart from technical and tactical aspects, rugby isn’t exactly the sort of sport mothers openly want their kids to play – bruises come much too often.
The team has so far faced an uphill battle in tackling opponents with vast playing experience.
The club held trials at Machabeng College on Saturday to scout for talent.
Several attempts have been made in the past to revive rugby in Lesotho but all have failed.
The Maseru-based outfit was formed in October last year and decided to register with the Free State Rugby Union in South Africa due to lack of competitive rugby in Lesotho.