|Maseru Select will return to the Griffons Rugby Eastern Free State League in March|
The Maseru Select rugby team will once again take part in the Griffons Rugby Eastern Free State League in 2018.
The 10-team championship which is contested by clubs in South Africa’s Free State province will start on March 17 and run until June.
The invitation from the league is a welcome boost for Lesotho rugby.
Maseru Select is a selection squad made up of the best players from clubs in the country’s top-flight, the Lesotho Rugby Championship.
The teams are Maseru Warriors, Mabote Beavers, National University of Lesotho Spears, LDF Liqhomane and Giants Rugby.
Maseru Select competed in the Griffons league last year after skipping the 2016 edition and the outing is good news for Lesotho with the national team preparing for the Africa Cup Bronze Cup in May where Likatola will battle Mauritius, Rwanda and hosts Ghana.
Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) secretary general Litšitso Motšeremeli said competing in the Griffons Rugby Eastern Free State League against experienced South African opposition has played a major role in improving Lesotho players’ and providing them exposure to international competition.
Lesotho first participated in the league in 2013 and during that time Likatola have risen from affiliate status to Rugby Africa’s lowest tier – the Division 2 Cup – and now to the Bronze Cup. In total, Lesotho has won six of its nine test matches since its international debut in 2012.
“Since the FLR was formed (in 2011), this league is one of the platforms we have used to groom our players, even the current Likatola players gained their competence through the league. Therefore we are happy that we are back again,” Motšeremeli said.
Maseru Select will play their Griffons League home games in Ladybrand and Motšeremeli said this year the FLR will be looking to put together a younger squad in order to start grooming the next group of stars for Likatola.
Maseru Select have also received an invitation to the annual Welkom Easter Rugby tournament to be played over the Easter holidays.
The competition is hosted by the Bronville Pioneer Club in Free State and last year Maseru Select finished second losing to the home side, Bronville Pioneer, in the final.
The upcoming duo of tournaments will help Lesotho’s preparations for the Rugby Africa Bronze Cup scheduled for May 9 to 12. Likatola assistant coach Morapeli Motaung said the high-level of competition coming up is a timely boost.
“The league consists of highly competitive clubs from South Africa and I believe they are of the right standard to give our players a good challenge,” Motaung said.