Nemadire, Sibanda pull out of Sables

HARARE - Utility backs Tangai Nemadire and Gerald Sibanda have opted out of Zimbabwe’s squad for the tough Rugby World Cup qualification play-off tie against Russia in Siberia on August 2.

Old Hararians speedster Nemadire, who played fullback in the initial qualification tournament in Madagascar few weeks ago, is not new to falling foul of authorities and is believed to have been unhappy with his “treatment at the hands of the coaching staff” in Madagascar.

Scotland-based Sibanda is understood to be upset about being left out of starting line-up in all three tests against Madagascar, Namibia and Kenya, and communicated his decision to pull out of the Russia trip to coach Brendan Dawson.

The less experienced Stephan Hunduza and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo were preferred at wings ahead of Sibanda.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) named the 24-man touring party yesterday, with lock Schalk Ferreira and flanker Njabulo Ndlovu the other omissions from the team that travelled to Madagascar.  

Versatile forward Fortune Chipendu, who went to Madagascar as a replacement for the injured Jan Ferreira, makes the team for the Russia trip while Old Hararians eighthman Takunda Chifokoyo replaces Ndlovu.

Shayne Makombe comes in as replacement for Sibanda.

The Sables leave for Russia on Friday and will camp for four days to acclimatise to the Russia weather.

They will meet the South Africa-based contingent in Johannesburg while the Europe-based players will fly directly to Russia.

The winner of the match will face the winner of the other Repachage between Uruguay and Hong Kong in a two-legged tie for the ticket to England next year.

Squad

Forwards: Pieter Joubert, Keith Murray, Kevin Nqindi, Jan Ferreira, Graeme Lawler, Jacques Leitao, Lambert Groenewald, Lawrence Cleminson, Sanele Sibanda, Matthew Mandioma, Farai Mudariki, Fortune Chipendo, Kingsley Lang, Takunda Chifokoyo.

Backs: Daniel Hondo (captain), Hilton Mudariki, Guy Cronje, Stephan Hunduza, Riaan O’Neill, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Peter Du Toit, Lenience Tambwera, Shayne Makombe, Danny Robertson.

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