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Sables experiment against Burkina Faso

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BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

ZIMBABWE has named six uncapped players in the Sables starting line-up for the Rugby Africa Cup Pool D encounter against Burkina Faso at Old Georgians Sports Club on Sunday.

The Sables will play two Test matches against Burkina Faso on Sunday and Wednesday to determine which team will lead Pool D ahead of next year’s knockout stages of the competition.

The winner of next year’s Rugby Africa Cup qualifies for the 2023 Rugby World Cup while the runner up will have another chance via the Repachage route against fellow runner ups from continental qualifiers.

New Zealand-based outside Brandon Mudzekenyedzi headlines the six players who will earn their Test debuts against the West African minnows after putting on an impressive show in the international friendlies against Zambia last month.

Mudzekenyedzi, a physical presence in midfield as well as an outstanding communicator, will partner uncapped inside centre Marcus Nel, who plays for English fourth tier side Clifton RFC.

The other uncapped players in the side are South Africa-based 22 year-old fly-half Keith Chiwara, hooker Deanne Makoni, Harare Sports Club lock David Makamba and Sebastian Roche, who plies his trade in England.

Experienced scrumhalf Hilton Mudariki will captain the side which has a good balance of youth and experience.

Flank Blithe Mavesere will make his first appearance since sealing his big move to South African giants Sharks.

Sables team to face Burkina Faso:

  1. Tyran Fagan, 2. Deanne Makoni, 3. Cleopas Kundiona, 4. Sean Beevor, 5. David Makamba, 6. Biselele Tshamala, 7. Blithe Mavesere, 8. Sebastian Roche, 9. Hilton Mudariki, 10. Keith Chiwara, 11. Matthew McNab, 12. Marcus Nel, 13. Brandon Mudzekenyedzi, 14. Shingirai Katsvere, 15. Martin Mangongo

Replacements: Mathew Mandioma, Doug Juszczyk, Royal Mwale, Godfrey Muzanargwo, Dudlee White-Sharpley, Riaan O’Neil, Shayne Makombe, Aiden Burnett

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