ZRU makes Sables changes

HARARE - Following the Sables’ poor start in the 2018 Rugby Afrique Gold Cup, the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) has made a number of changes in their technical and management structures.

Zimbabwe started their campaign to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup finals to be held in Japan with a 23-23 home draw with Morocco last month.

It did not get better in the second match as Peter de Villiers’ side went down 45-36 to Kenya in Nairobi at the end of June.

That was followed by a chaotic trip to Tunisia where the Sables players slept on the streets after refusing to take up the accommodation offered by the hosts.

On the pitch, the Sables then went down 18-14 to effectively end their hopes of qualifying for Japan.

Zimbabwe is now in danger of being relegated from the Gold Cup as they currently sit in fourth place on the log standings with a paltry three points after the three matches.

Sables’ assistant coach Brendan Dawson has been demoted and will now be in charge of the Zimbabwe Under-23 Academy side.

In the meantime, de Villiers will now look for a new assistant and team manager that he will work with ahead of the Namibia game later on this month.

A Sables Technical Committee will also be appointed which will now be responsible for team selection.

On the administrative side, ZRU vice president Martin Shone has also been incorporated into the independent Sables Trust.

Board member Shingi Mpofu is now the liaison between the players and the presidium and will be responsible for the squad’s welfare.

“Numerous events have taken place in the last couple of weeks that have forced us to relook how we are doing business and whether the current structures we have fit the purpose,” ZRU president Aaron Jani said in announcing the changes yesterday.

“We have to come to the conclusion that some changes are necessary for us to deliver our primary mandate which is promoting the game of rugby and creating a conducive environment for the game to thrive.”

Jani said the changes have been necessitated by the urgent need to prioritise development and long-term goals of the union.

There was also a need Instil discipline in all of the ZRU communication structures and eliminate overlapping structures.

However, getting results in the remaining matches and ensure the side avoids demotion to the Silver Cup precipitated the changes.


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