Setback for Sables ahead of big tie

By Enock Muchinjo

THE unavailability of foreign-based professionals is likely to seriously affect the Zimbabwe national rugby team when they play Uganda in the second leg of the Africa Cup qualifier next wee

k.


The Sables, who suffered a shock 16-25 defeat away to Madagascar last Sunday, will re-assemble in Harare on Monday with a few changes expected to be made to the side that lost to Madagascar.


The Sables will be without any of their foreign-based stars, save for Germany-based flyhalf Victor Zimbawo.


The absence of most overseas-based players continues to rock the Sables, who have never been at full strength in more than two years.


The Sables suffered the latest setback after the departure of key flank Jeff Tigere for his German base ahead of the Madagascar tie. Loose forward Phil Carter, based as well in Germany, also failed to turn up after having confirmed his availability.


Coach Brighton Chivandire will have to beef up his side with local-based players for the must-win match against the east Africans at Old Georgians Sports Club.


With forwards such as prop Rocky Gurumani in attack, the pace of wing Tonderai Mapunde and the trickery of flyhalf Zambawo, the Sables will be expected to roll past the Ugandans like a wounded lion.


Zimbabwe have a number of foreign-based players, some of whom have not been capped by the national side. Former Prince Edward School wing Tonderai Chivanga looks set to play for South Africa’s Springboks after having already turned out for that country’s sevens team. Many players who emerge from local schools are reluctant to play for the Sables.