Sables get down to business

HARARE - The Zimbabwe national rugby side began their week-long training camp in South Africa on Monday with a workout at the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Tshwane.

With their first 2018 Rugby Afrique Gold Cup match against Morocco a little over three weeks away, the Sables are eager to make the best of the little time they have from now on.

Zimbabwe needs to finish top of the six-team division to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan.

Sables coach Peter de Villiers, who replaced Cyprian Mandenge in February, is pleased with his side’s preparations ahead of the game against the North Africans at Police Grounds on June 9.

Before leaving for Tshwane, the Sables had spent a few productive days at Falcon College in Esigodini where they held another training camp off the grid.

“Individually, we always knew what they (the players) can do or what they are doing now but as a team, we are now doing it quicker,” De Villiers told Sables TV.

“The time they spent time on what they are doing and how they reacting, makes me very excited to be with them.

“If we can get them to 80 percent of their abilities, I think we will be unstoppable. At this moment, we are not far off but we need just a few adjustments a few aspects of how to get there.”

After taking on Morocco on June 16, the Sables will then travel to Nairobi for a date against Kenya on June 30.

A week later, De Villiers and his squad are on the road again as they take on Tunisia in Monastir on July 7.

The Sables next game will be a home tie against Namibia, who have dominated the Gold Cup in recent years.

The Welwitschias has qualified for the last five World Cups and will be the Sables main threat in this year’s competition.

Sables provisional squad: Tapfuma Parirenyatwa, David Makanda, Connor Pritchard, Fortunate Chipendu, Brian Nyaunde, Farai Mudariki, Denford Mutamangira, Matthew Mandioma, Gabriel Sipapate, Kudakwashe Nyamufaringa, Jannie Stander, Johan Stander, Biselele Tshamala, Njabulo Ndlovu, Kevin Nqindi, Lawrence Cleminson, Michael Botha, Shingirai Katsvere, Takudzwa Mandiwanza, Kudzai Mashawi, Brendon Mandivenga, Mathew MacNab, Lenience Tambwera, Hilton Mudariki, Peter du Toit, Ernest Mudzengerere, Ngoni Chibuwe, Dylan Baptista, Ziyanda Edmond Khupe, Riaan O’Neill, Kuziva Kazembe, Takudzwa Kumadiro

Technical team: Peter De Villiers, Brendon Dawson, Kisset Chirengende, Kwayedza Chiwara, Taurayi Chipamaunga, Abigail Mnikwa

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