ZRU unveils coaches

HARARE - Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) yesterday unveiled head coaches across five formats of the game with the union’s technical director Brighton Chivandire saying the individuals have their work cut out.

The new coaches were handed four-year performance-based contracts and have been tasked to select their own backroom staff.

Cyprian Mandenge is now the Sables coach, a position previously held by Brendan Dawson.

Daniel Hondo takes over the Zimbabwe Sevens coaching post which was held by Gilbert Nyamutsamba.

Brendon Brider takes responsibility of leading the Zimbabwe Under-20 team from Nsikelelo Sibanda.

Zimbabwe women XVs and Zimbabwe Women Sevens teams will be under the guidance of George Mukorera and Abigail Kawonza respectively.

“Specific targets have been set for specific coaches. For the Sables we are looking ahead to qualification for the World Cup in 2019; that is our main one,” Chivandire told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

“For the Under-20s as you all aware we have not qualified for the Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT) for the past two years so the national under-20 coach, one of his KPIs is to make sure that we qualify for that tournament.

“As for the men’s sevens team, they have got very important tournaments this year. The first one being the Hong Kong qualifiers we also have tournaments serving as qualifiers for the Olympics.”

Chivandire said Zimbabwe women XVs also had a busy schedule ahead.

“The women’s 15s team are going to an African tournament in SA that acts as well as qualifier for Rio 2016. So generally those are the key tournaments that we are looking at in 2015,” he said.

“We will sit down with the head coaches and because they have got their KPIs we want them to choose whom they want to assist them. So we gonna sit down with them in the next one week.”

Mandenge, who was Dawson’s assistant in the previous Sables setup, was naturally elated at his latest role in Zimbabwe rugby’s flagship team.

“I must start by saying the foundation has already been laid given the way Dawson started and left the team. In as much as we are disappointed that we didn’t go to the World Cup, I think there are a lot of positives,” he said.

“What we just need to do is to eliminate the negatives and count on the positives for us to move forward. Obviously there are areas which we could have done better and we will give them attention.”

Former Cheetahs captain Hondo said his side have already been getting down to business.

“We have had three weeks so far of training and we are working on our conditioning  so I guess if we do those things well going to Hong Kong being well prepared, we always have a chance whenever we go that side,” he said.

“It’s an honour to be coaching a national team. And I thank the nation for giving me this opportunity to actually lead a team and try put them in a better place.

“That Hong Kong tournament is a big one for us to start off with and we hope that we will make it this year with the players that we do have.”

New lady Cheetahs coach Kawonza said she will be working flat out to help the women’s sevens team scale up the rankings in Africa.

“This year we have a tight schedule, the director has given us a task to come out at least second in Africa currently we are sitting fourth and we are grateful that the foundations have been set especially in schools,” she said.

“Qualifying for Rio 2016 will be great but just getting the women to play and being top in Africa will be a great achievement as well.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.