The Madibaz team will be banking on home-ground advantage in their bid to capture the University Sport South Africa squash title in Port Elizabeth next month.
Mandela University coach Jason le Roux said they realised they would be in for a testing challenge, but that the team had been boosted by the inclusion of several quality players.
“Last year we had Gershwin Forbes at No 1, but now he is No 4 [No 1 in the B team],” he said.
“We have John Kuhn, who won the Madibaz Open, at one, Brendan Basset at two and Warren Bower at No 3.
“In the girls’ team, Danielle Shone comes in at three to join Hayley Ward and Bianca Brown, so we have definitely improved in strength.
“The players have been working hard in preparing for the week and the fact that we are hosting it has provided extra motivation.”
Le Roux said the players would first compete in the individual tournament before taking on the team event.
He added that the action would start on Sunday July 1 with the first round of the individual competition, which would be completed on the Tuesday.
The team event will run from Wednesday to Friday.
Madibaz Sport Squash manager Melissa Awu said they were looking forward to welcoming their varsity counterparts to Mandela University.
“We are delighted to be hosting this tournament and are working very hard to ensure everything runs smoothly,” she said.