Sables make four changes

HARARE - Zimbabwe 15s rugby coach Cyprian Mandenge has made four changes to the starting line-up to face Uganda in Kampala in a Rugby Afrique Gold Cup match this afternoon.

The Sables take on the Cranes at the Kyadondo Rugby Club hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s humiliating 23-31 home defeat to Tunisia.

Kick-off is 3:30pm local time. 

The Sables have won only one of their four matches this season and will need a win or lose by a bonus point to ensure that they remain in the Gold Cup next year and maintain a chance to qualify for the 2019 World Cup to be held in Japan.

A 16-28 win against Senegal in Dakar in their opening match of the competition is all Zimbabwe have to show so far which was followed by defeats against Namibia (31-26), Kenya (22-41) and Tunisia.

Sables coach Cyprian Mandenge has tinkered with the front row by benching hooker Tolerance Zishe and replacing him with Royal Mwale, who started on the bench against Tunisia.

Another change in the forward pack is lock Witness Mandizha, who comes in to the side to replace Kingsley Lang.

Lang has been moved to play as the eighth man while Njabulo Ndlovu, who was in that position last week, will play as the blind side flank.

Jacque Leitato, who was the blind side flank against the North Africans, will now go onto the open side to replace Biselele Tshamala, who has been relegated to the bench.

In the backline, Mandenge will have a new midfield combination after the returning inside centre Riaan O’Neil replaced Ngoni Chibuwe.

Outside centre Gavin Nyawata has been promoted from the bench to play alongside O’Neil to replace Daniel Capsopoulos, who did not make the trip to Kampala.

“The guys are all raring to go despite the indifferent campaign that we had so far. Sometimes you need to do with a bit of luck because in all fairness, we have played some of the best rugby but still went on to lose,” Mandenge told the Daily News from Uganda.

“That is the beauty of sport, if you don’t get your processes right you get punished for that. This is a different game altogether we are desperate to end on a high note.

“It was good that we started off positively and as such a happy ending will be our priority.”

The Cranes coach John Duncan said: “It’s important that we finish it on a high this weekend. Our first priority is to ensure that we get a win.”

Vice-captain Micheal Wokorach said: “We have been training hard and every training session is a learning curve for the team. I think we have learnt a lot.”

Sables Starting XV:

15. Teddy Dzandiwandira, 14. Takudzwa Kumadiro, 13. Gavin Nyawata, 12. Riaan O’Neil, 11. Stephan Hunduza, 10. Tichafara Makwanya, 9. Hilton Mudariki, 8. Kingsley Lang, 7. Jacques Leitao, 6. Njabulo Ndlovu, 5. Witness Mandizha, 4. Fortune Chipendu, 3. Lawrence Cleminson, 2. Royal Mwale, 1. Denford Mutamangira

Replacements: 16.Tolerance Zishe, 17.Matthew Mandioma, 18. Irvine Nduwa, 19. Biselele Tshamala, 20. Takudzwa Mandiwanza, 21. Scott Jones, 22. Lenience Tambwera, 23. Ngoni Chibuwe.

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