Zim teams ready for Barbarians

0
459

Zimbabwe’s junior rugby teams have stepped up preparations for upcoming matches against the visiting British Independent Schools team, the Barbarians.

The Barbarians, who will be fielding their Under-18 squad, will touchdown around lunchtime on Friday ahead of four matches against local schools’ junior sides and the Zimbabwe Under 19 team.

This will be their first visit in the country since 1994 and prior to that they had last toured Zimbabwe in 1969.

The visitors will play their first match on Saturday against Harare Lions at Prince Edward School before clashing with the Zimbabwe Under 19 team at St John’s College on Wednesday.In between, the Barbarians will play a Districts team at Lomagundi College on Tuesday next week before winding their tour with a match against a schools development side the Goshawks at St John’s College on Friday.

The Harare Lions are led by respected coaches Brighton Chivandire and assistant Godwin Murambiwa and the two men will swap roles for the Zimbabwe Under-19 side.

The two teams went through their paces at Prince Edward yesterday with the Harare Lions training first before the Zimbabwe Under-19 had their work out later that day.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport Murambiwa said he was happy with the preparations so far although they were still awaiting the arrival of South Africa-based players.

“All the teams that will be taking part have been in camp since Monday and the preparations have gone well although we are still waiting for a few players based in South Africa.

“The guys who are in camp have been working hard and I’m confident that by the time we play our matches we will be prepared,” said Murambiwa.

The former Sables coach however acknowledged that the only challenge they were facing was the fact that the schools’ XVs season was yet to kick-off.

The tour of the Barbarians is expected to help the coaches asses some of the younger players in Junior World Rugby Trophy-bound Under 20 team in Georgia later this year.

While some of the key members of that team are ineligible as they are over the age limit of 19 years, the Under-19 team has some familiar faces that represented the country at the Craven Week tournament.

Zimbabwe Squads

Zimbabwe Under-19: I Muza, M. Kadirire, J Swallows, R. Surtees, J Zulu, M. Zengeya, M Lawson, K Makanza, T Tsomondo, H Mudariki, F. Jijita, C Van Rensberg, R Zee, D Coetzee, J Peiters, P Bryant, S Zeederburg, D Zimbudzana, M Muhambi, J Coles, M Nel, J Butchart

Goshawks Under-19: B Grainger, O Chadwick, T Simpson, K Merrington, U Kontchou, W Seremani, J Forrester, D Rorke, J Smallbones, A Wilkinson (St John’s College), L Sibanda, D Gibbons, R Sargeant (Falcon College), J Butchart (captain), T Zinyemba, R Surtees, J Hlahla (St George’s College), L Tambwera, E Nyakabaza, A Kamkwindo (Churchill), L Masisire, K Zhou (Prince Edward), T Chieza (Kyle College).

Harare Lions: M. Kadirire, R. Surtees, J. Smallbones, M. Lawson, D. Rorke, J. Bruce, T. Tsomondo, G. Zvandasara, D. Coetzee, L. Masasire, W. Seremani, T. Bere, P. Bryant (captain), T. Madovi, K. Zhou, T. Simpson, T. Ndaba, J. Butchart, M. Law, T. Musakanda, S. Ramsey, T. Mwanza.