GABORONE, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Botswana national rugby sevens team overcame flight delays to depart Thursday afternoon to Tunisia for the Rugby Africa sevens Championship to be played from October 13 to 14.
The team was supposed to leave on Wednesday but missed their connecting flight meaning they spent the night in Johannesburg South Africa and only left Thursday afternoon.
Ninth ranked Botswana set on a mission to improve their ranking at the tournament that pits 12 of the top ranked rugby countries in the continent.
Coach Andrew Paxinos said before the team's departure that he was hopeful of a good showing by his charges in the coastal town of Monastir in Tunisia.
He said they aim to improve their ranking significantly to be among the top ranked teams in the continent.
He however lamented the missed flight saying the team will not have adequate time to recover from their long flights before the tournament starts.
The team was scheduled to fly though Doha, Qatar and connect to Tunis, Tunisia the next day before taking a bus trip to Monastir.
It now means the team will have less than 24 hours to recover before playing the first match of the tournament against former Africa champions Kenya on Saturday.
Paxinos will be pinning his hopes on experienced sevens campaigners in captain Tshoganetso Katse and forward Ketshidile Matenanga who have over a decade playing sevens tournaments.
The two complement a squad made up mostly of young players who also include a few rookies who will have their first taste of international competition.
Botswana is in Pool A alongside Kenya and Morocco. Other teams at the tournament are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Namibia, Mauritius, Senegal and Ghana. Uganda are the defending champions having won the tournament when they hosted it in 2017.