By Brain Murandu
NEWLY appointed Zimbabwe national rugby team coach Brighton Chivandire says he is keen and raring to go the extra mile to raise the fortunes of the Sables 15s which had
His immediate tasks include guiding the Sables to the Central Africa Rugby championships and to the World Cup finals. Qualifiers will be starting soon.
But the 35-year-old Chivandire – appointed by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) last Sunday – kicks off his programme by assembling a squad for next week’s international friendly against Kenya in Bulawayo.
“I’m aware of the task lying ahead and hope to live up to it,” he said during a midweek interview. “My vision is to lead the team into qualifying for the 2007 World Cup.”
Chivandire said the ZRU must take advantage of the International Rugby Board structures which now dictate that there be competitive leagues from the Under-13s, Under-16s, Under-18s, Under-21s right up to senior national team level.
“From the primary school children at Under-13s, it means the next step is the Under-16s. The Under-16s aspire to play Under-18 and those aspirations go to the Under-21s up to senior side,” he said.
Chivandire said on the African continent as a whole, Zimbabwe could arguably have the best schoolboy rugby. Schoolboy rugby has a massive sponsorship drawn from companies such as Coca-Cola, Glens Care, Nashua Copier Kings, Makro Wholesalers and Guardian Trust, among others.
However that fails to reflect at the national level of the game.
Chivandire recalls with nostalgia the feeling he got after being called up to play for the national team a decade ago.
“When I was called up by the then national team coach in 1992, I felt great that I would play for the country and play against the best in the world,” said the former Old Hararians player who won the domestic league title with the “Green Machine” in 2001 and 2002.
Chivandire also played for Bulawayo-based club Busters from 1991 up to 1997 before going to England where he turned out for Clifton Rugby Football Club from 1997 to 1998. He returned home in to join Harare Sports Club.
He also won the domestic league title with Old Hararians as an assistant coach last season.
Meanwhile the last round of this season’s ZRU premier league action is set for tomorrow.
OH vs Western Panthers (Old Hararians Sports Club); University vs Busters; MCD vs HSC (Old Georgians Sports Club); and Old Miltonians vs Gweru Sports Club (Hartsfield, Bulawayo).