The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Chivandire's Future With Young Sables Uncertain

YOUNG SABLES coach Brighton Chivandire's future with the Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby side has been clouded in uncertainty following claims that the veteran coach has resigned. Chivandire, however insisted yesterday that he was still in charge of the national youth side and had actually set his sights on the 2013 programme.

The veteran coach has been in charge of the Young Sables for the last four years.

Should he throw in the towel, Chivandire would become the second member of the technical team to resign from the Young Sables following the departure of his trusted lieutenant Godwin "Jaws" Murambiwa in August last year shortly before the team embarked on the Junior Africa Cup campaign.

Murambiwa -- who earlier in the year had indicated that he was not interested in taking up more posts in the Zimbabwe Rugby Union set-up including the Sables -- resigned a few days before the junior tournament kicked off at Prince Edward.

It appears that Zimbabwe's defeat to Namibia in the Junior World Rugby Trophy qualifier may have been Chivandire's last assignment as the Young Sables coach in a disappointing year by the lofty standards they had set themselves.

In the same year under review, three of the Under-20 players were nabbed for doping at the JWRT in the United States before Zimbabwe failed to make it for the this year's global event after losing in the qualifiers staged on home soil.

Sources within the ZRU revealed yesterday that Chivandire met with the Under-20 committee chairman Aaron Jani at the end of last year telling him that he will not be able to carry on this year.

But Chivandire maintained that he is still the Young Sables coach and has actually set a training plan for the side to prepare for possible qualification for the 2014 edition of the JWRT.

"That is news to me. I have not resigned from the Young Sables, I am still the coach and I have a plan for our preparations for the Junior Africa Cup that I have to present to the committee," said the former Old Georgians coach.

"I am hoping that we will play some friendly games with Namibia as they prepare for the JWRT because we must give ourselves more game time and I think they will also be happy to get some game time.

"I hope that we start our preparations in March because I am planning that Namibia come through as they prepare and this will also depend with the attitude of the schools (if they are willing to release the players).

"We definitely have to play as much rugby as possible in the time we have because we are not going for the JWRT but our biggest tournament this year will be the Under-20 JWRT qualifiers.

"By the time the tournament kicks-off we should be a well prepared side. We saw our shortcomings from last year's defeat to Namibia so we have to work on that in order to get a result.

"Selection has to start as early as the Cottco (schools rugby festival), there are some players that left school last year that also have to be looked at and if we could have camps during mid-term breaks or school holidays, the better.

"These are all just but my thoughts but I have not yet met the committee but most likely we are going to have something more or less like that because we have to get back to the JWRT," said Chivandire.

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