Mudariki to lead Sables against Uganda Cranes

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Hilton Mudariki

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

ENGLAND-BASED Zimbabwe national rugby team star Hilton Mudariki will lead the Sables in their Victoria Cup clash against Uganda at the Legends Rugby Club in Kampala tomorrow following the injury to regular captain Brendon Mandivenga who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The 27-year-old scrumhalf, who plays for English Championship side Jersey Reds takes over the captaincy from Mandivenga who is out of the entire Victoria Cup campaign due to ankle and hip injuries.

Sables team manager Jason Martiz told NewsDaySport in an interview yesterday that the team’s technical department has put Mandivenga on a recovery programme.

“Unfortunately, he (Mandivenga) won’t be able to play for the Sables this season. He has an injury on his ankle and hip and the long term plan is to get him
back to full fitness ahead of the start of the next World Cup qualifiers,” Maritz said.

Mudariki, who is not new to captaincy duties, having led the national Sevens side, will be deputised by veteran South Africa-based lock Jan Ferreira, who
bounces back into the starting lineup after missing the opening game against Zambia a fortnight ago.

Ferreira is one of the six changes made to the Sables starting line up from the side that beat Zambia 39-10 in the opening round of the tournament.

As expected, Sables coach Brendan Dawson has made several changes to his starting team as the Sables look to keep their momentum in the four-nation competition
also featuring Kenya.

Old Georgians prop David Makanda starts at tighthead prop while Tyran Fagan, who had a brilliant debut against Zambia moves to loosehead to fill the void left
by Henri Boshoff.

South Africa-based hooker Matthew Mandioma comes in to replace Keith Murray who drops to the bench, while Godfrey Muzanargwo moves from number eight to the
second row where he partners the experienced Ferreira.

England-based loose forward Aiden Burnett will make his Sables debut in the number eight jersey while Kuziwakwashe Kazembe takes over at flyhalf in the absence
of Mandivenga.

France-based utility back is expected to add the much needed flair and pace in midfield after being selected at centre, while Matthew McNab makes his first
start in the competition this season at wing.

The replacements bench comprises of seasoned players such as Biselele Tshamala and Njabulo Ndlovu along with the uncapped duo of Dudlee White Sharpley and
Rufaro Chikwaira.

Sables starting XV: 1. Tyran Fagan, 2. Matthew Mandioma, 3. David Makanda, 4. Jan Ferreira (VC), 5. Godfrey Muzanargwo, 6. Blithe Mavesere, 7. Brian Nyaude, 8.
Aiden Burnett, 9. Hilton Mudariki (C), 10. Kuziwakwashe Kazembe, 11. Matthew McNab, 12. Ngoni Chibuwe, 13. Shayne Makombe, 14. Takudzwa Kumadiro, 15. Martin
Mangongo

Replacements: 16. Keith Murray, 17. Tatenda Rwenyu, 18. Royal Mwale, 19. Biselele Tshamala, 20. Njabulo Ndlovu, 21. Dudlee White — Sharpley, 22.Rufaro Chikwaira, 23. Takudzwa Chieza 24. Moses Gunda

Team management:

Head coach: Brendan Dawson

Assistant coach: Tonderai Chavhanga

Team manager: Jason Maritz

Physiotherapist: Pauline Manyaya