HARARE – The Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) yesterday announced a training squad of 30 players for the next month’s African Cup Test match against Senegal at Hartsfield in Bulawayo.
The team comprise seven foreign-based players in prop Lawrence Cleminson, Witness Mandizha (lock), Biselele Tshamala (flank), Hilton Mudariki (scrum half) and Ngoni Chibuwe (centre) all plying their trade in South Africa.
Australia-based flank Connor Pritchard and Brian Nyaude, who is playing in Germany, have also been included in the training squad.
The rest of the squad is made up of locally-based players including seasoned campaigners like captain and prop Denford Mutamangira, hooker Graham Cochrane, Fortune Chipendu (lock) and fly half Lenience Tambwera and Tichafara Makwanya among other players.
Last weekend, the Sables took off their Africa Cup preparations a gear up by engaging Zambia in an international friendly at Harare Sports were they recorded a morale boosting 64-3 victory during a match played under flood lights.
The team scored six tries through winger Takudzwa Kumadiro, Tolerence Zishe (hooker), Lawrence Cleminson (prop), Dan Capsopoulos (centre), Scotty Jones (scrum half) and centre Boyd Rouse while fly half Tichafara Makwanya had a fine evening converting most of the tries as well as penalties.
Head coach Cyprian Mandenge was pleased with the outcome.
“The boys played well they showed that they are hungry but I’m sure we could have done more but at the end of the day it helped in seeing what we have got in terms of testing our character,” Mandenge said of his charges.
“I think there’s something that we got from the game but I would have wanted to see us under pressure and see how we apply ourselves under these conditions.
“We weren’t tested enough but I’m sure it’s not a matter of them not testing us enough, I think we were just too strong for them,” Mandenge said last week.
“We need to continue with everyone that’s here and look at all other guys who are not here. I’m happy there’s now competition for jerseys and this is what I told the players that ‘make it difficult for me to select a side’ and they have just done that. With the guys who are not here it’s worth, money-permitting to play possibles versus probables because the guys did put up a good show.”
Sables Training squad for Senegal
Forwards: Denford Mutamangira, Lawrence Cleminson, Irvine Nduwa, Brian Makamure, Tolerance Zishe, Graham Cochran, Takudzwa Bvunzawabaya, Brian Nyaude, Witness Mandizha, Fortune Chipendo, George Saungweme, Takudzwa Mandiwanza, Conner Pritchard, Biselele Tshamala, Lucky Sithole, Osborne Muhambi
Backs: Hilton Mudariki, Scotty Jones, Joshua Gando, Tichafara Makwanya, Lenience Tambwera, Gideon Muyambo, Tarisai Mugaviri, Dan Capsopoulos, Boyd Rouse, Ngoni Chibuwe, Stephan Hunduza, Takudzwa Kumadiro, Tadius Hwata, Tinashe Gwisai