THE Zimbabwe Under-19 rugby team technical department has named a 24 man side for the U19 Rugby Africa Cup Group 1A Tournament which gets underway on Wednesday (26 August 2015) at St Georges College in Harare. The Young Sables played and won their two warmup matches against Harare Sports Club and the Chinhoyi-based Atexis Rugby Academy earlier this week.
Young Sables Team Manager Shaun De Souza told SSN that selectors mixed experience and upcoming young talent to build this squad: “The team has had two warm up games which has helped the head coach Brendon Brider and his assistant Bob Mahari decide the final team. The preparations are going well the team morale is good. The mix of foreign and local based players makes a good fusion.”
“The competition will be high. Namibia, Kenya and Uganda are all investing in the development of their rugby and are making huge strides. These teams have all come to win and no team should be taken lightly,” De Souza said.
The Young Sables’ motivation for a home victory is the prospect of qualifying for next year’s Junior World Rugby Under-20 Trophy, having missed out on the last three editions of the second tier global tournament to rivals Namibia.
“This means a lot to the boys as these opportunities don’t come about every day. To have that credential on your portfolio is motivation on its own; the technical team is already planning as you will find five U-18 players have been selected in this team for development,” stated De Souza.
The Prince Edward Coach paid tribute to the team’s sponsors – POSB, Oxlink Capital and Kelly’s Chicken – who have come to the aid of the Zimbabwe Rugby Union to support the Young Sables in this tournament.
The four-nation qualifying competition will get underway on Wednesday with defending champions Namibia taking on Uganda in the first semifinal followed by the other semifinal pitting hosts Zimbabwe against Kenya.
Zimbabwe Under-19 Young Sables Squad
Forwards: Connor Pritchard (Falcon College), Cole Bond (St John’s College), Aiden Burnett (St John’s College), Tanaka Chikwezvero (Maritzburg, SA), Tinashe Gonese (Hillcrest), Ronald Jiri (Dale College), Muchineripi Mangenje (Prince Edward), Justin Mendelsohn (Sharks), Rodrick Mubaiwa (UK), Francis Mungwari (SA), Tinotenda Musasanura (CBC), Kudakwashe Ndoro (Prince Edward), Martin Shioma (Limpopo Blue Bulls), Panashe Sora (Prince Edward)
Backs: Russell Dinha (Prince Edward), Tadiwa Gochera (St Benedict’s College), Shingirai Katsvere (Prince Edward), Mudiwa Manhombo (St Benedict’s College), Tatenda Matoramusha (Prince Edward), Joshua Gando (Lomagundi), Ernest Mudzengerere (Prince Edward), Tawanda Ngosi (Durban), Matthew Ushewokunze (Falcon College), Ngoni Zinyama (UK)