MBARE Rugby Academy’s Under-18 team received a timely shot in the arm ahead of their departure for this weekend’s annual Nashua Middelburg Sevens tournament in South Africa today after receiving a playing kit from a local financial institution, CBZ Bank yesterday.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The rugby academy which has become a dominant force in local rugby was yesterday presented with two sets of playing kits, kit bags, socks and t-shirts during a hand-over ceremony at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Bob Mahari, who was representing CBZ, said the local financial institution would also cater for the team’s transport costs and food during their stay in South Africa.
“The sponsorship is worth approximately $4000 and covers the branded playing kits, transport and food for the players. This is all in appreciation of the good work that the Mbare Rugby Academy has been doing in developing local rugby,” he said.
Also in attendance at the handover ceremony were the Zimbabwe Rugby Union general manager Sifiso Made and former ZRU president Themba Sibanda who is the academy’s patron.
Mbare Academy will feature in the Under-18 category at the Nashua Middleburg in Mpumalanga, on Friday and Saturday, joining the national sevens rugby side, affectionately known as the Cheetahs and their development side, the Goshawks.
Cheetahs coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba yesterday named two new faces for tournament which they will use to prepare for the IRB World Series Circuit in December.
South Africa based loose forward Biselele Tshamala, who has been capped at XVs together with Old Georgians flyhalf Boyd Rous and UK-based Hilton Mudariki were the new faces named in the squad yesterday.
Skipper Jacques Leitao is the major absentee from the squad due to injury while his deputy Daniel Hondo was named as the interim coach of the Goshawks team.
Old Hararians fullback Tangai Nemadire was surprisingly relegated to the Goshawks side with Njabulo Ndlovu, Stephan Hunduza and Kilvan Magunje preferred instead.
The team’s old horses Fortune Chipendu, Gardner Nechironga and Wensley Mbanje, who were part of the World Cup squad in June, are expected to lead from the front.
The Cheetahs, who leave the country tomorrow, will battle it out for honours in the main tournament alongside other international teams such as the hosts South Africa, Wales, Zambia and Kenya and a host of South African provincial sides.
Nyamutsamba will use the tournament as an opportunity to try new combinations in his side ahead of the IRB Sevens World Series tournament in Port Elizabeth from December 7-8.
Cheetahs Squad: Fortune Chipendu, Boyd Rouse, Njabulo Ndlovu, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Lucky Sithole, Wes Mbanje, Kilvan Mangunje, Hilton Mudariki, Biselele Tshamala, Steven Hunduza, Gardner Nechironga and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo
Coach: Gilbert Nyamutsamba
Interim Manager: David Crouch, Physio: Sharon Mkumbuzi
Mbare Academy: Marshal Mandizvidza, Shingirai Katsvere, Pride Nyameni, James Vambe, Brighton Chinyanya, Tinashe Chibondo, Brandon Chari, Victor Mushayahama, Takudzwa Mawarire, Kuzivaishe Benza, Tinashe Masawi, Benjamin Musendaruzi, Richard Majuru, Moses Matenga
Coach: Victor Pekani
Manager: Milton Rankeni
Goshawks Squad: Dan Nicols, Shayne Makombe, Sean Chigumbura, Japhet Ndebele, Tatas Mutataguta, Teddy Hwata, Tangai Nemadire (Captain), Kuda Chiwanza, Lloyd Machanjaira, Brian Dube, Kudakwashe Chimukuyu, Tawanda Chowe
Coach: Daniel Hondo
Manager: Basil Dingiswayo