A balanced side has been named for the CAR U19 Tournament that begins this Saturday at Prince Edward School. The Young Sables are the defending champions and will be hoping to retain their championship to seal a place at next year’s edition of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Chile. Zimbabwe’s main rivals at this stage Namibia are already in the country and hoping to break the jinx and register a win against Zimbabwe this time around. Namibia’s head coach Jood Opperman believes in his boys and says, “We are going to take each game as it comes, but I assure you we are not here to lose”.
The Zimbabwe Rugby Union has been granted a bigger stage to put on show its schoolboy rugby as they have been asked to put together a Harare Select side to make up for Uganda’s absence at the junior tournament. “This is a great opportunity for the development of Zimbabwe Rugby and we are excited to be able to include these players in a Tournament of this nature,” said team manager Collen de Jong in a statement released to Frontrow.co.zw. The Harare Select side will play in Pool B against Zambia, Madagascar and all the way from the north, Morocco while the Young Sables will clash with Kenya, Tunisia and Namibia in Pool A. Sables assistant coach, Cyprian “Supa” Mandenge who has been appointed head coach for the select side said, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the lads who might not have made the cut for the Young Sables but are now getting another chance to represent their nation on such a stage.”
Joshua Smallbones will lead the Young Sables in a quest to successfully defend their title in the week-long tournament. Thabani Ndaba, Daniel Rorke, James Forrester, Tapiwa Tsomondo and the captain, Joshua Smallbones were part of the squad that won the tournament last year at Prince Edward and have been retained in this years’ team. Multi-talented sportsman Luke Masasire has also been named in the squad. Masasire was part of the team that was at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Australia this month. The youngster was also the fly-half in the Harare select team that won against the British Barbarians U-18 side which toured Zimbabwe last year. The experience that these boys bring into the team, combined with the rookies zeal and energy is expected to see Zimbabwe through.
SMALLBONES JOSHUA (CAPTAIN)