Makwanya rallies Sables

HARARE - Zimbabwe rugby vice-captain Tichafara Makwanya believes the Sables have given up a lot to travel for the inaugural Hong Kong Cup of Nations which should serve as motivation in their quest to leave a mark at the tournament.

The Sables are up against the hosts today in the World Rugby-sanctioned competition, before taking on Russia next Tuesday, and Portugal five days later.

With no official sponsor, little support from government and stakeholders, Zimbabwe Rugby Union has failed to implement the best rewards system to compensate players.

Not surprisingly, the preparations have hit hardest as the Sables have had to make do with a crash programme to gear up for the four-team tournament.

But that has not dampened Makwanya’s faith who still believes the side will rise above the odds in Hong Kong.

“It’s quite a huge tournament, lots of people are talking about it, the vibe is good. The boys are excited, edgy and eager to get on the park,” Makwanya told the Daily News from Hong Kong yesterday.

“We expect to do well and win all our games.”

Sables coach Cyprian Mandenge has included six uncapped players in lock David Kapuya, flyhalf Kuziva Kazembe, prop Gabriel Sipapati, centre Ngonidzashe Chibuwe, centre Malvern Maparura and eighth-man Alva Senderayi.

Spain-based lock Jan Ferreira, Harare Sports Club backliner Tafadzwa Mhende, United States-based versatile backliner Lungile Tshuma and English National League One rugby side Coventry RFC’s lock Martin Wolfenden are coming back into side after a sustained period on the sidelines.

“(I am) also excited to see the new guys in the team, some huge talents like Kazembe, Senderayi, Kapuya and the likes of Lungile, Wolfenden and Mhende coming back in the mix,” said Makwanya.

“Loads of guys have given up a lot to be here and that should count!”

Zimbabwe is using the tournament towards rebuilding a squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

The Sables agonisingly failed to reach the last showpiece tournament which ended in England recently when they fell to Namibia during the Africa qualifying tournament in Madagascar last year.

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.