De Villers slams World Rugby

HARARE - Sables coach Peter de Villers, had no kind words for World Rugby after watching his side secure their Rugby Afrique Gold Cup status with a crucial win over Uganda at the weekend.

Zimbabwe went into the match against the Cranes at the Kyadondo Rugby Grounds needing nothing short of victory or else they would have been playing in the second tier Silver Cup next season.

However, the side put in a spirited performance on their way to seal a famous 18-38 victory to stun Uganda in front of their fans.

European-based wings Shayne Makombe and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo scored two tries each while full back Shingi Katsvere and flank Connor Pritchard got one each.

Returning scrumhalf Enerst Mudzengerere was duly voted man-of-the-match but there were many in that Sables squad like captain Denford Mutamangira, Pritchard and Lawrence Cleminson that deserve special mention.

With his side’s status in next year’s Gold Cup secured, de Villiers took a swipe at World Rugby for a skewed allocation of grants to African teams.

Namibia, who won this year’s competition and have qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, get at least $1,5 million a year from the Dublin-based organisation.

Zimbabwe and the rest of the unions in the Gold Cup get a paltry $45 000 compared to the lump sum Namibia receive.

“I think it’s a disgrace from World Rugby because of the little money they put into Africa for the kind of rugby we saw here today,” the former Springboks coach said.

“There was all the ingredients; we saw great line breaks, scramble defence, there were first phases that were brilliant and we had ball steals on the ground so I think with more resources and getting these guys to become professional players; Africa will make a step up in World Rugby.

“At this stage, I think they are afraid of that but if not, why don’t they put in the right kind of money here in Africa?”

Ahead of the Uganda game, there was a lot of speculation regarding de Villiers’ position as Sables coach.

However, the South African wants to sit down with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union board and plot a way forward.

“I’m going to sit down with the bosses and hear what is on their minds,” de Villiers said.

“We need to get most of these guys to sign up for us, I’m sure we will be able to give them a good pre-season programme and they are our assets.

“If we look after them properly, they will come good. Look at some of them, they only have four or five caps and when we are now talking of them having 23 or 25 games, it will be a hell lot of difference.”

Mutamangira also echoed his coach’s sentiments in the need to have this group of Sables’ players nurtured.

 

Comments (1)

I was truly shocked upon seeing World Rugby's latest group photo. About the only non-white faces on there belonged to South Africa and Japan. Where were the Pacific Islands? Those 3 nations provided a third of the players at the last World Cup. More than half the competing nations had at least one player of Pacific Island birth or ancestry in the team. But World Rugby would rather have Georgia and Romania on its committee. & I don't think it's any coincidence, either, that rugbydom seems to have lost confidence in South Africa as a World Cup host since the non-white community got more deeply involved.

Quentin Poulsen - 22 August 2018

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