BULAWAYO-The Zimbabwe national rugby team has made changes to the technical team and the training squad ahead of their showdown with Namibia at Hartsfield Grounds on Saturday.
The Sables are winless after three matches, having started off with a draw against Madagascar before defeats against Kenya and Tunisia ended their hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be staged in japan.
Their ambition now is for them to avoid relegation to the second-tier and a win against the trailblazing Namibia will give them a boost.
After Namibia, they take on Uganda in their last match of this Gold Cup campaign in Kampala. The Sables will be looking to improve on their fourth position on the six team log.
Daniel Hondo has been roped in the Peter de Villiers-led technical team as a backline coach.
There is an infusion of three Cheetahs, back from Zimbabwe’s Rugby World Cup Sevens attempt.
Shayne Makombe and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo have been added to the backline while Connor Pritchard assumes his place as a flank. Chitokwindo and Makombe were responsible for Zimbabwe’s first burst of tries in their opening match against Wales at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Germany-based lock Antipas Kamkwindo will be joining the team, replacing Johannes Stander.
“We’re not doubting the players that have been playing. Rather, it’s an opportunity for us to see what other players have to offer on Saturday. Namibia remains unchallenged in the competition and we hope we will be the team that puts pressure on them,” Hondo said.
The team broke camp on Sunday to allow the players to go and vote in the national elections that were held yesterday.
They were expected to reassemble in Bulawayo last night to ramp up their preparations for the much waited tie.
Denford Mutamangira, David Makanda, Farai Mudariki, Irvine Nduwa, Fortunate Chipendo, Takudzwa Mandiwanza, Connor Pritchard, Tapfuma Parirenyatwa, Ernest Mudzengerere, Lenience Tambwera, Mathew McNab, Brandon Mandivenga, Kudzai Mashawi, Takudzwa Kumadiro, Shingirai Katsvere, Mathew Mandioma, Cleopas Kundiona, Lawrence Cleminson, Antipas Kamkwindo, Brian Nyaude, Hilton Mudariki, Ziyanda Khupe, Shayne Makombe, Tafadzwa Mhende, Lucky Sithole and Tafadzwa Chitokwindo. NEWSDAY