National rugby team coach, Seabe Gabatladiwe has denied reports that some players snubbed a call-up, as the Vultures prepare for next week's Africa Silver Cup Championship debut in Zambia.
Reports from the Vultures camp are that preparations have not been smooth, as some players chose to ignore national team call-up. The players are said to be against the appointment of Gabatladiwe as coach.
Gabatladiwe was roped in after Ivor Greaves recently dumped the team. “There are some players who were invited for national team selection, but they did not show up as they do not want to work under Gabatladiwe. It is a sad scenario because that never happened before when Greaves was in charge,” said a source.
The players’ snub is said to have also happened when Neal Gouws was coach. However, one of the players said to have snubbed a call-up for the selection process, Tshoganetso ‘Shakes’ Katse of UB Rhinos said he was surprised to learn that he had failed to make the team.
“I did not come for the selection because of some commitments. It has nothing to do with the coach. I assumed that they would include me in the team,” he said.
Katse, considered the best fly half in the country, said he was hoping to play for the Vultures for the last time this year
Only one player from defending champions, Gaborone Hogs, Obakeng Gouwe made it into the national team.
But Gabatladiwe denied that players had shunned the call-up, protesting his presence. Instead, he said the challenge was that preparations started late due to financial challenges. “Players who did not turn up for training did not make it through the selection process. It is exciting to be in the national team and I do not see how any player would refuse a call up,” he said.
Team manager, Lesedi Keekae said he had not received any report about players who turned down a call-up. Keekae said all players who passed the vigorous selection have been attending training.
Six nations play in the Africa Silver Cup, with three from the southern region and three from the northern region. The winner in the South would play the winner from the North.
The Vultures start their campaign against Zambia with the next clash against Madagascar.
Gabatladiwe said they expect tough opposition from the two opponents.
“We have played them before and they always gave us a tough battle.
We have worked on our weaknesses and we are ready,” Gabatladiwe said.