HomeSportRugbyDawson gets four-year contract

Dawson gets four-year contract

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Brendan Dawson was yesterday officially retained as the senior national rugby team head coach in a largely unchanged technical set-up where his assistant, Cyprian Mandenge, was also retained in the same capacity.

Dawson (44) was given a performance-based four-year contract. He will have the task of ensuring that the Sables retain their place in the elite group of continental rugby to be eligible to take part in the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifiers next year.

“I was happy with what we managed to achieve last season, which is why I reapplied for the job. I’m glad I have been given another opportunity to lead the country as the head coach. My primary goal will be to make sure that we qualify for the World Cup in 2015. We have the qualifiers next year and we have to make sure that we start the preparations soon,” he said.

The interim Sables committee chairman, Bongai Zamchiya, who took over from Dumile Moyo, said they were confident Dawson was the right man for the job.

“There was a laid-out criteria set up by the Sables’ technical committee led by Goodwin Murambiwa which outlined the duties of the coach and the qualification criteria whose minimum was an IRB Level 2 coaching certificate and some coaching experience. We considered all the applicants and as the committee we recommended Dawson.” said Zamchiya.

Dawson’s return was largely expected as he last year led the Sables to the Victoria Cup and a promotion to the Africa Cup Group 1A and their best ever ranking on International Rugby Board (IRB) ranking of 33. He would later be named the Coach of the Year at the Annual National Sports Awards.

The former Sables skipper is one of the most decorated players in Zimbabwean rugby history and represented the country at the 1991 Rugby World Cup – the last time Zimbabwe took part in the tournament.

Last year, the Sables also won the tri-nations Victoria Cup which involves Uganda and Kenya. Dawson will have the task of preparing the team for the Africa Cup Group 1A tournament set for July 5-9 in Tunisia where they will play the hosts Kenya and Uganda.

ZRU general manager Grant Mitchell also named the technical departments for the other national teams with UK-based Liam Middleton retained as the national 7s head coach while Gilbert Nyamutsamba also retained his post as his assistant.

For the Junior World Rugby Trophy-bound Young Sables technical set-up, Brighton Chivandire was also retained as the head coach while Murambiwa remains his assistant.

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