Zimbabwe Sables have named eight debutantes in their squad for the ‘Battle of Zambezi’ against Zambia at the Machinery Exchange Stadium at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
This will be the opening match for both teams in the revived Victoria Cup.
Head coach Brendon Dawson believes the Victoria Cup is a key pillar in Zimbabwe’s bid to qualify and compete in the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
“We are looking at our world cup preparations and these are really crucial games for us to get the right standard and the right levels for us to compete,” said Dawson.
Front rowers Henri Boshoff and Tyran Fagan, lock Godwin Mangenje, flanker Blithe ‘Driller’ Mavesere and eight-man Godfrey Muzanarwo will be making their debut appearances in the forwards while Martin Mangongo will make his maiden appearance for the Sables as a winger.
Henri Boshoff says he is excited to represent Zimbabwe.
“It was interesting, I was really surprised that I got the call-up but I was honoured at the same time because this weekend I will be running out for the first cap and it is a real honour to represent Zimbabwe.
“The Victoria Cup is going to be an immense challenge. I have a feeling that we would be facing good sides so we have to really bring our ‘A-game’ if we want to bring this one home. The guys have received me very well and the team culture is winning, this will snowball us into making some really good history,” said Boshoff.
The buildup to the 15:30 hrs kick-off will feature the Zimbabwe Lady Sables against Zambia Women’s National team and the schoolboy battle between rivals St Georges College and Churchill High School.
Forwards: Henri Boshoff*, Keith Murray, Tyran Fagan*, Kudakwashe Nyakufaringwa, Godwin Mangenje*, Blithe Mavesere*, Brian Nyaude, Godfrey Muzanarwo
Hilton Mudariki (VC)
Backs: Brendon Mandivenga (C), Martin Mangongo*, Ngonidzashe Chibuwe, Daniel Capsopoulos, Takudzwa Kumadiro, Kudakwashe Chiwanza
Reserves: Matthew Mandioma, Tatenda Rwenyu*, Royal Mwale, Moses Gunda*, George Saungweme, Enerst mudzengerere, Jeremiah Jaravaza and Takudzwa Chieza*