ZIMBABWE rugby coach Chris Lampard says he is encouraged by the positive responses he has received from foreign-based players wanting to play for the Sables in the World Cup qualifiers startin
g next month.
“Players want to come, but it all depends on finance to get them here and whether the players will make it into the team after we’ve assessed them. No one will get automatic selection,” Lampard said.
While saying this, the former assistant coach was naturally excited about the message sent from across the Limpopo by Durban University player David Cloete, who has told Lampard that he wants to play for his country.
A slippery flyhalf, Cloete caused a stir in schools rugby two seasons ago with his polished penalties and conversions as well as sublime handling when he turned out for Peterhouse College. He represented the national schools team at the Craven Week for two years.
Another South African-based player, back Ryan Dube, sent Lampard a match video of himself that the Falcon College-based trainer said was satisfactory.
Most of the players who played for the Sables in the Africa Cup last year are likely to be in the side again and have confirmed their availability. The quartet of captain Costa Dinha, three-quarter Victor Zimbawo, flank Jeff Tigere and flyhalf Sean Smit are likely to be joined by another Germany-based player, fullback Edmore Takaendesa.
Meanwhile, reverse fixtures for the northern region phase of the national league begin tomorrow with unbeaten Harare Sports Club expected to maintain their record against University at Sports Club.
HSC will be without injured flyhalf Happy Nyatanga and the national sevens duo of Willis Magasa and Jacques Leitao, who are away with the Cheetahs on a European tour. They should however sail past the students who have not been enjoying a good season so far despite their impressive win over Police Defenders last Sunday.
Champions Old Hararians could have another party tomorrow against Police Defenders following their 74-0 massacre of Mabvuku last week.
The other match pits Mashonaland Country Districts and Mabvuku at Old Georgians Sports Club.