Zimbabwe: Mudariki to Lead Sables At Africa Cup

SCRUMHALF Hilton Mudariki will lead the Sables at the Rugby Africa Cup, Pool D, in Tunisia, next month.

The national rugby side will take on Burkina Faso and hosts Tunisia.

The matches provide a pathway, for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, in France.

Mudariki is one of the most experienced players, in the Sables squad, having made his debut against Namibia, in 2013.

Other seasoned players in the squad are Royal Mwale, Riaan O'Neill, Biselele Tshamala, David Makamba, Shayne Makombe and Matthew Mandioma.

New boys like Doug Juszczyk, and Brandon Mudzekenyedzi, will get to represent Zimbabwe, for the first time, in an international competition.

The Sables played two international friendly matches, against Zambia, at Harare Sports Club, earlier this month.

The team, which has been in camp since May 16, resumed training on Wednesday, at Old Georgians Sports Club.

They were given the green light, to continue with their training sessions, by the Sports Commission, earlier this week.

They will leave for Tunisia this evening.

The Sables were meant to travel to Portugal, to play a match against the hosts, on July 3.

But, after being denied visas, to enter the European nation, as part of the Covid-19 protocols, they will now go straight to Tunisia.

The Sables will hold a two-week training camp, in Tunisia, before they take on Burkina Faso, on July 13.

They will then date the hosts, four days later.

All the Pool D matches will be at the Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir, a city 162kms, from Tunis.

If Zimbabwe win Pool D, they will most likely meet Madagascar, in the quarter-finals.

Then, they will take on Namibia, in the last four, with those matches, set for July, next year.

The winner of the Rugby Africa Cup will secure the continent's ticket to the Rugby World Cup.

The runners up also stand a chance of heading to France, via the repechage.

Before the Sables leave for Tunisia, a new sponsor will be unveiled, for the team, today.

Earlier this month, Nedbank Zimbabwe, unveiled a US$120 000 for the Sables, meant to take care of the team's welfare, and other expenses

Zimbabwe Sables squad

Hilton Mudariki (captain, Tonderai Chiwambutsa, Blithe Mavesere, Sean Beevor, Godfrey Muzanargwo, Royal Mwale, Cleopas Kundiona, Aiden Burnett, Tyran Fagan, Riaan O'Neill, Martin Mangongo, Deanne Makoni, Brandon Mudzekenyedzi, Shingirai Katsvere, Matthew McNab, Takudzwa Chieza, Doug Juszczyk, Bornwell Gwinji, David Makamba, Shayne Makombe, Matthew Mandioma, Dudlee White-Sharpley, Keith Chiwara, Biselele Tshamala, Sebastian Roche, Brendon Mandivenga

Coach: Brendan Dawson

Assistant coach: Liam Middleton

Physiotherapist: Alice Randall

Team manager: Jason Maritz

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