Ndaba breaking new ground

HARARE - Following in your brother’s footsteps is always an encouraging sign.

However, it becomes awkward when you have to switch schools to take a chance in unfamiliar sport of rugby to follow up this objective.

But for Thabani Ndaba moving from Chinhoyi’s Lomagundi College to Harare’s Prince Edward School (PE)in the hope of donning the famed Tigers stripes, was the best move he has made so far for his fledgling rugby career.

Just like his cousin and Sables fringe winger Alex Ndangana who had been an integral member of the Prince Edward School rugby team, Ndaba hoped he would achieve the same feat and even more.

Arriving at P E in 2010 and breaking into the Tigers forwards pack and later into the Young Sables ranks was affirmation of all his hopes and dreams.

In 2011, Ndaba was part of the Zimbabwe Under-19 team that competed in the Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Under-19 African Championship at Prince Edward School.

Ndaba, who plays in the front row as a loose head prop, helped the young side qualify for the IRB World Junior Rugby Trophy that was later held in the United States in June this year.

In the United States, Ndaba, a strong ball carrier started in the Young Sables forwards pack scoring one try and as well as being instrumental at the breakdowns.

Zimbabwe lost all their group matches in the United States but it was a good learning curve for the 19-year-old, who had spent a four-month stint at the Oswestry School in the United kingdom on a rugby attachment.

On Arrival in the UK Ndaba initially found the northern hemisphere conditions difficult but he however, got to grips with the challenge and is now a menace at the breakdown.

On the back of his good form, Ndaba was picked to play for Sale Sharks Academy against North of England under 18s. Sale Sharks are one of England’s leading rugby Union clubs.

Ndaba was hot property at Oswestry School to the extent of attracting the interest of University of Manchester, who offered him an 85 percent rugby scholarship for 2013, on condition he obtains 10 points and above in his “A” Level final examinations.

Currently the 19-year-old prop will be one of the players expected to come to the party when Zimbabwe hosts the Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Under-19 Championship on home soil for the second consecutive time at PE this week.

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