Harare Rugby League kicks off

HARARE - The 2016 Harare Rugby League kicks off this afternoon with champions Harare Sports Club (HSC) locking horns with Police Defenders at ZB Sports Club in Vainona this afternoon.

HSC will be seeking to try out new combinations following the departure of some of their key players in last season’s campaign to other teams in the league and varsity school commitments hence they will not be taking lightly the Defenders, who finished fifth last season.

Sportivo’s backs Takudzwa Kumadiro and Takudzwa Francesco moved to new boys Old Johannians (OJs) while Lenience Tambwera went to Old Georgians with McClern Muhambi relocating to Russia for university studies.

Outside centre Tafadzwa Mhende has been handed the Sportivo armband replacing substantive skipper Osborne Muhambi.

The club decided to relieve Muhambi of his captaining duties to allow him to concentrate on his new role at inside centre.

Muhambi had over the years mastered his trade as a loose forward before the switch.

“We are going to take each game as it comes... the team has got new players so we want to build from this first game against Police Defenders who have proved their worth on the league so they are not a tea to take very lightly,” Mhende told the Daily News yesterday.

Mhende said his side is still the team to beat despite losing four influential players during the offseason break.

“We can’t really say we are a depleted side (departure of the entire backline) this season because HSC is known for producing one of the best backline players every year so it’s only a matter of time before we find the right combinations,” he said.

Second string sides, OJs 2 and HSC 2 get the season running at 11am while the Defenders and HSC 1 follows shortly after before Old Georgians take on Mutare.

The main highlight of the day will be the clash between OJs 1 and Old Hararians.

OJs, who are made up mostly by players from St John’s College and Vainona, finished fourth place in only their first season last year while OH were in third position.

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