ZRU commits to Sables

HARARE - After neglecting the Sables in recent years, the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) has finally seen the light and is now treating the men’s national XVs side with dignity.

The Sables were relegated to the lower tier Africa Cup Group B earlier this year after they lost all their matches in group A.

It was not the players’ or the technical team’s fault but the side never had proper preparations before matches against Kenya, Uganda and Namibia.

This time around, ZRU has provided funds for the Sables to camp and prepare adequately for next week’s Four Nations Cup in Hong Kong.

In the past, players used to stay at their homes only regrouping in the morning to resume training which greatly affected the coaches’ plans.

Sables coach Cyprian Mandenge, who was reinstated after he was sacked following the Africa Cup fiasco, is pleased with the current scenario ahead of their departure for Hong Kong on Sunday.

“This is a very important developmental tournament for world rugby, we were there last year, lost all our matches but the bigger picture is to use this competition to build-up for the Africa Cup because we want to get back to where we belong,” Mandenge told the Daily News yesterday.

“I’m happy that we will be having a full week of training, everyone is really trying their best to give us the ideal preparations that the team needs, including ZRU and it will be nice to see the players fighting for jerseys in the team.”

The locals kick-off their Hong Kong Cup campaign against Russia on November 11 before taking on the hosts four days later and wind up their round robin games against Papua New Guinea.

Sables squad:

Forwards: Denford Mutamangira, Irvine Nduwa, Brian Makamure, Lawrence Clemenson, Victor Chiwara, Farai Mudariki, Matthew Mandioma, Sandile Lupuwana, Tolerance Zishe, Costa Dinha, Kudakwashe Chimukuyu, Witness Mandizha, Michael Passaportis, Tapfuma Parirenyatwa, Connor Prichard, Biselele Tshamala, Njabulo Ndlovu, Osborne Muhambi, Jason McKay, Andrew Rose, Lucky Sithole

Backs: Joshua Gando, Taddy Dzandiwandira, Lenience Tambwera, Tichafara Makwanya, Gideon Muyaba, Gavin Nyawata, Kudzai Mashawi, Stephan Hunduza, Lungile Tshuma, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Riaan O’Neill, Ngoni Chibuwe, Kuziva Kazembe, Brad Ellse

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