Sables team announcement today

HARARE - Zimbabwe national rugby coach Brandon Dawson will today announce his final 26-member touring party for the 2015 World Cup qualifying tournament which is set to start in Madagascar this Saturday.

For the past two weeks, Dawson and his technical team had been fine-tuning the squad and last Friday they had an opportunity to see how far they have gone in their preparations with a Possibles v Probables match at Harare Sports Club.

In Madagascar, the Sables will face the host in the first match of the tournament on Saturday before taking on their bogey side Namibia on July 2.

The Sables end their tour of duty with a blood and thunder match against Kenya five days later.

In today’s team announcement, Dawson faces a huge headache in finalising his squad.

The former Sables player is likely to scarify some of the experienced players in the set-up opting to go for new blood as he looking to strike the right balance.

In the forwards department, the biggest worry is lack of depth in the front row, where the numbers seem to be very thin when it comes to front rowers.

The Sables only have three experienced props in Denford Mutangamira, Pieter Joubert and Tapiwa Mangezi.

The coach is however spoilt for choice in the second row and loose forwards, possessing some strong ball carriers and menaces at the deck, competent at inflicting turnovers at the breakdown.

Also, tall jumpers Schalk Ferreira and Michael Passaportis have the height and frame of world-class locks.

Some of the experienced forwards like to face the chop is the Old Georgians duo of Fortunate Chipendu and Farai Mudariki.

Durban-based hooker Royal Mwale is also likely going to find it tough making the travelling party as there is stiff competition for a starting place in the Sables pack.

In the backline, what was evident during the team’s preparations was that Dawson and his technical team have a crisis in midfield, where they is only one outright centre, skipper Daniel Hondo.

The question is, who is going to partner the Harare Sports Club maestro in the absence of veteran Cleopas Makotese, who had formed a formidable combination with Hondo?

Some of the seasoned backline players likely to get the axe is utility player Gerald Sibanda and Josh Rowe.

Whatever team Dawson picks, he has to be prepared to face the music and take it by the chin because there are going to be some big names that are likely to fail to make his list.

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