Zimbabwe take on Botswana as Africa Cup roars into life

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Zimbabwe take on Botswana at Hartsfield today as the Confederation of African Rugby Africa Cup finally explodes into life.
Madagascar and Zambia will battle it out in the first match at 1 400 hours before the Zimbabwe Sables engage minnows Botswana at 1530 hours in the main match of the day in Pool C.
The winners of both encounters will play each other on Saturday for a place at the Africa Cup finals tournament in November.
Yesterday, Sables manager Noddy Kanyangarara announced a 24 man squad which will do battle in the two matches with two debutantes Lloyd Turner and Brian Makamure. The South African based duo of Gerald Sibanda and the hard running Tangai Nemandire were also included in the side.
Kanyangarara said they would add a lot of value in the side after the demoralising defeats to East African Kenya and Uganda in the Victoria Cup.
“Sibanda and Nemandire have been with the national team for some time and their experience in South Africa will give the team the cutting edge in the backline and hopefully we can use that to our advantage,” said Kanyangarara.
He said they had put the recent defeats behind them and were looking at new challenges ahead.
“In professional sport it is always important to move forward and we have since shifted our attention to new challenges and we definitely have learnt a few lessons from the two defeats on the road,” he said.

Zimbabwe squad: L Turner, V Hove, J Butchanan, D Mutamangira, R Gurumani, Z Tondoro, G. Nechironga, J Leitao, N Mukondiwa, T Mafi, D Robertson, T Nemandire, L Machanjaire, G. Sibanda P Staark, D Hondo, W. Mbanje, T Mhende, S Johns, D Mutamangira, S Sibanda, P Chitenderu, N Ndlovu, S Sibanda, B Makamure.