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Cheetahs star Sibanda makes comeback

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SCOTLAND-based Zimbabwe rugby international Gerald Sibanda made a welcome return to competitive rugby after a four-month injury layoff when he featured in Galashiels’ 15-14 win over Aberdeen in their Scottish Premiership match on Saturday.

REPORT DANIEL NHAKANISO

Sibanda dislocated his shoulder on his full debut for Galashiels way back in October, forcing him to set out a huge chuck of his side’s matches in his debut season in the Scottish topflight league.

The livewire Zimbabwe Sevens star, who had impressed with his runs and big hits before being injured, returned to the Galashiels lineup at the weekend, helping his side post a crucial win.

Sibanda’s return comes as a huge boost for Cheetahs coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba as he is expected to play a key role in his Sevens Rugby World Cup squad.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport on Saturday, Sibanda — who is the elder brother of former Miss Zimbabwe Vanessa Sibanda — said he was excited to be back playing again after a frustrating spell on the sidelines.

“Yeah I played today (Saturday) against Aberdeen and had a massive comeback. It was a relief to be back, now I can just focus on contributing to my team and hopefully help them win the Scottish Premiership.

“It was frustrating being on the sidelines, but I managed to stay positive in a new environment, many thanks to the support I received from my coaches, the club bosses and my teammates.

“I’m glad the storm is over and I can focus on getting back to my best. Obviously, I’m looking forward to contributing to the success of my country whenever called for national duty, but the main immediate focus at the moment is to get back to action here for club and finish the season first in April, only after then will I be available for selection with Zimbabwe,” said Sibanda.

Due to his club commitments in Scotland, Sibanda will miss the upcoming SPAR International Sevens tournament, but is expected to bounce back into the side ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

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