Makwanya handed Sables honour

HARARE - Tichafara Makwanya has been named the Zimbabwe rugby XVs vice captain and will deputise Denford Mutamangira for Saturday’s Africa Cup home test against Kenya at Prince Edward School.

The 27-year-old Old Hararians skipper, who has 18 Sables caps to his name, said the honour came to him as a surprise considering he was a fringe player during former coach Brendan Dawson’s era.

Cyprian Mandenge’s appoint as Sables coach has seen the former Prince Edward fly half regain his place in the team.

“To be honest it was a bit surprising but it just shows that the coach backs me up and believes in me because it’s been a while since I played for the Sables,” Makwanya said.

“During the Dawson era in the past year I was always in and out of the team; I was actually more out that I was in but it’s good to be back.

“It’s an honour and something that I can’t take for granted and obviously something that I would want to last so I hope I can do well to back that up.”

Makwanya said the responsibility would not come with an added pressure as the players in the squad are mature enough to take care of themselves.

“It’s basically not much (pressure) because playing at international level is probably different from club level locally because here it’s not really about man management but basically more of a title,” he said.

“I think the guys will manage themselves. Looking at the backline that I will be leading the talent is just amazing.

“The guys there are very responsible and players that I can trust so it’s basically guys looking after themselves and me not having to do much in the end.”

The fly half is confident the Sables would overcome their East African opponents and get their Africa Cup campaign on a positive note.

“We go into every match thinking of winning but it’s always up to the performance of the day but the preparations and the team we got are all looking good,” he said.

“I think we just need to keep our composure and play according to our strength which are superior ball skills and the strength that we got in contact areas.”

Sables squad: Fortune Chipendu, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Lawrence Cleminson, Stephan Hunduza, Teddy Hwata, Charles Jiji, Pieter Joubert, Antipas Kamkwindo, Kingsley Lang, Cleopas Makotose, Tichafara Makwanya, Shingai Mpofu, Farai Mudariki, Tatenda Murwira, Denford Mutamangira (Captain), Kudzai Muzorewa, Royal Mwale, Gardner Nechironga, Tangai Nemadire, Riaan Oneil, Tapfuma Parirenyatwa, Andrew Rose, Boyd Rouse, Sanile Sibanda, Lenience Tamberwa, Biselele Tshamala.

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