Experienced Harare Sports Club centre Daniel Hondo was named as the Sables skipper for the first time as the Zimbabwe senior rugby side’s technical department named a 25-man team for the Confederation of African Rugby Africa Cup which kicks off on Sunday in Kampala, Uganda.
The hard-running Zimbabwe Sevens regular will be deputised by veteran Old Hararians Lock Costa Dinha, as the Sables’ technical department settled for experience. None of the four players in the Young Sables squad that returned from the Junior World Rugby Trophy made the side, which team manager Noddy Kanyangarara said would leave for Uganda in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“The technical department had enough time to assess the players during the camp and I’m confident we have a strong side capable of getting the desired results.
“The fitness levels of the players are quite high and besides the local players who have been active in the ongoing league programme, we also have experienced South Africa-based players who have also been on top of their game,” said Kanyangarara.
The Sables will have to win all their matches against the Cranes of Uganda and Madagascar in Division One B to the latter stages of the tournament where they meet winners of the Division 1A which has Namibia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Kenya. Initially the tournament was supposed to be a four-nationcompetition but Ivory Coast which held second position in the group withdrew due to political chaos in that country.
The Sables will play Uganda on the June 12 and Madagascar three days later with Harare Sports Club coach Cyprian Mandenge taking charge in the absence of Brendan Dawson who will not travel due to pressing family commitments.
However in an interview with NewsDay Sport Dawson said he was confident the team would come out on top in Uganda.
“We have to win our two matches against Madagascar and Uganda and I believe the guys we have can live up to it and I’m confident we have the quality to achieve that.”
Forwards: N Mukondiwa (False Bay, SA), K Kambasha, D Mutamangira, R Dzvairo, S Makuku, J Goosen (all Harare Sports Club), D Esbach, P Joubert, M Coleman (all Old Georgians), J Ferreira, (Busters), P Chitenderu and C Dinha (Vice captain) (Old Hararians), F Chipendo (Primrose Rugby Club, SA), G Nechironga and N Ndlovu (Belhar Rugby Club, SA)
Backs: C Makotose (False Bay, SA), D Hondo, S Makombe, T Nemadire, P Machisa, S Mpofu (Harare Sports Club), D Bradshaw, D Robertson (all Old Georgians), T Makwanya (Old Hararians), L Machanjaire (Busters).