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Sables make changes

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Sables’ stand-in coach Cyprian Mandenge has made four changes to the squad ahead of the second Confederation of African Rugby Division 1B encounter against Madagascar at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala, Uganda Wednesday.

The match kicks off at 1630 hours (1530 Zimbabwean time).

Mandenge yesterday named the final 22 players that will take on Madagascar, three days after the Sables put themselves in the driving seat in the three-team tournament with a 15-25 win over the hosts.

A win in today’s match will earn Zimbabwe promotion to Africa Cup group 1A regardless of the result from the final game between Madagascar and Uganda on Saturday.

In the forward pack, Old Hararians’ Prayer Chitenderu comes in for Devon Esbach at hooker with Shingie Mpofu replacing Jan Ferreira at flank.

In the backline, Busters’ Lloyd Machanjaire comes in to replace Tangai Nemadire who suffered a concussion against Uganda while Mike Coleman comes in at scrumhalf for Charles Jiji.

“The Ugandans dominated us in the rucks and mauls in the first half and after we made those two substitutions in the forward pack at half-time it stabilised the scrum and we started holding and pushing them,” Sables team manager Noddy Kanyangarara told NewsDay Sport from his Uganda.

Mike Coleman comes in at number nine for Charles Jiji in a more of a tactical move by the coach than anything else.

The Madagascans are very physical and they like running a lot hence the decision to start Coleman ahead of the exciting Jiji,” he said.

The Sables’ win on Sunday saw them climb five places from 47th to 42nd on the International Rugby Board rankings — their highest ranking since October 2003 when the rankings were introduced.

“After having moved five places up the ladder on the World rankings the players know what is at stake and we have been emphasising to them the need to win against Madagascar in the build- up to the Kenya game in Bulawayo next week, though we are taking each game as it comes.

“The team is in high spirits and is raring to give the nation something to smile about and show that the win against Uganda was no fluke,” said Kanyangarara.

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