Sables flank Rose upbeat

HARARE - Zimbabwe flank Andrew Rose is upbeat of making a victorious home test debut on Saturday and says he has no regrets of choosing financially struggling Sables over Rugby World Cup regulars Scotland.

Quick to the breakdown with an abundance of stamina, Rose is likely to be part of the starting XV for the Sables’ Car Africa Cup opener against Kenya at Prince Edward School.

Born to a Scottish mother on March 17, 1988 in Harare, Rose could have gone on to play for the Six Nations Championship rugby playing nation, having represented that country at Under-21 level.

But the former Peterhouse student, who played alongside Dave Denton and Tendai Mtawarira and captained Zimbabwe Under-19s, made a bold decision to play for the country of his birth.

“It’s my home, it’s my country, it’s where I grew up,” Rose tells the Daily News.

The former Young Sables captain earned his senior Zimbabwe debut at the African Championships away in Madagascar in July, 2013 but a calf injury hampered his chances of making the World Cup qualifying side.

“Very devastated I didn’t play last time out but that’s rugby. It happens. You can’t predict the future. You just have to do your best and put your hand up for selection,” Rose says.

“It’s always nice to be back. It’s a different game to what we play in Scotland, a different challenge, the highest level of your career, so I’m happy to be back.

“I think the Africa Cup is probably the closest target we have at the moment so we might as well strive for that. It will be quite interesting how it goes.

“Hopefully we can give Kenya a challenge. It’s my first home test which will be great. It will be an interesting challenge to show we deserve to be there.”

The Sables, without a sponsor, are making do with a week-long training camp due financial constraints but Rose is looking at the bigger picture.

“You would be quite surprised the problems in rugby are not just localized to one country. The union in Scotland does struggle,” he says.

“Luckily the Scotland national team is more out there than Zimbabwe therefore sponsors are keen to come in. But I think we fight our own battles, management does a lot but it’s time for companies to step up and assist.”

The Boroughmuir Rugby Club captain has been in good form for his club and last month played a leading role in his side's first cup win in 10 years.

He will hope to carry that form into Saturday’s match and be part of a loose trio that will resolutely guard the Zimbabwean defence, slowing down Kenya’s attack to set the platform for a win.

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