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Chivandire under scrutiny

Staff Writer

NATIONAL rugby team coach Brighton Chivandire’s tenure will be reviewed next week as the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) embarks on a performance assessment of the technical departments of all

national representative sides.

Chivandire took charge of the national team last year in a season the Sables failed to rise to the occasion as has become characteristic of them in recent years.

Chivandire, Zimbabwe’s most capped player ever during his playing days, has taken up a full-time job as head coach of the Prince Edward School Tigers. An appointment committee set up by the ZRU to review the coaches’ performance is likely to take that into consideration when deciding Chivandire’s future.

The appointments committee, led by ZRU first vice-president John Stanger, will make its recommendations to the ZRU board that will either endorse or veto the proposals before making formal decisions.

In an interview with IndependentSport this week, ZRU president Bryn Williams said his association still had confidence in Chivandire and wanted him to continue.

“I had a discussion with Brighton after he got the PE job and he was willing to continue working with the Sables. I’m not able to say if it’s possible for him to do that or not, but I hope he will be able to. He is the best that we have. He is brilliant,” Williams said.

If Chivandire stays on, the ZRU plans to send him on attachment to further his coaching skills at South African Currie Cup side Free State Cheetahs.

Williams said he hoped to seal the deal when he attends the Confederation of African Rugby general assembly in Bloemfontein, South Africa, soon.

The appointment of a foreign coach for the Sables appears to be the only possible resolution for the ZRU if Chivandire fails to make it. The cash-strapped association has in the past struggled to engage a good foreign coach due to financial constraints. But Williams said ZRU has already made “good progress” in securing sponsorship for local rugby this year.

“We have made positive strides in getting corporate partnerships this year and I hope this will relieve pressure on the union not to subsidise everything like we did last year,” he said.

The highest qualified local coaches, Bill Cornish, Nick Tambling and former coach Godwin Murambiwa, are apparently not interested in the job.

The other coaches who will be reviewed by the appointments committee include national sevens player/coach John Ewing and national Under-21 mentor Sykes Sibanda.

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