THE Zimbabwe Under-19 rugby team’s technical department will step up their preparations for the incoming tour by the England Independent Schools rugby team next week after naming a provisional 33-member training squad expected to go into camp this weekend.
The touring select developmental side drawn from various schools across England arrives in the country on Sunday ahead of matches against the national Under-19 side, Mbare Academy and a select Under-18 Goshawks side.
Young Sables team manager Blessing Chiutare told our sister paper NewsDay Sport that the training squad was not final as they would consider all the other players eligible to play for the Under-19 side.
“Yes, we have named a provisional training squad for the match against the England Independent Schools. If you noticed the list includes foreign-based players and it is not the final squad. The players on the initial list and other Under-19 players not on the list are advised to report for training at Harare Sports Club starting this Saturday,” he said.
The national Under-19 side features several players who were part of last year’s Craven Week squad such as Brendon Mandivenga, Jabulani Mutukwa, Thabani Mujeni, Brendon Boshi and Daniel Moolman.
Farai Mudariki, a former student at the elite Michaelhouse College in KwaZulu Natal, is also part of the squad as he moves closer towards emulating his brother Hilton Mudariki who has played for the Sables and Cheetahs squads.
Chiutare said Zimbabwe will use the match to prepare for the Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Under-19 Championships slated for , Windhoek, Namibia, from August 26-31. The regional tournament will double as the African qualifier for the 2015 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.
“Usually we start our preparations for the Junior Africa Cup during the second term, but because of this tour by the England Independent Schools, we will start earlier than usual. These matches present us with an opportunity to start our preparations,” he said.
While the Under-19 side will be preparing for the Junior Africa Cup, a select Under-18 Goshawks side will comprise of players expected to represent Zimbabwe at this year’s Under-18 Craven Week set to take place at Middelburg High School in Mpumalanga Province,SA, from July 13-19.
England Independent Schools Squad: J Allen, R Carter, A Dunham, J Edwards, W Foster, N Gilbertson, O Glasse, A Hamilton, P Marmion, H McPherson, C Morgan, J Oluwayemi, B Onyeama-Chrisite, W Potter, E Roofe, S Rossiter, T Simpson, G Snowball, P Tarleton, J Tinker, R Whiteside, J Williams, M Moorhouse, G Antons, J MacFarlane, W Pepper, H Dodds, T Jones
Zimbabwe Under-19 Provisional Squad: S Mwayera, N Tanyanyiwa, T Chipadza, T Gwisai, G Spapati, K Nhira, J Mutukwa, B Boshi, C Archer, K Kazembe, T Chikwezhero, D Lennon, I Bowden, T Ngosi, M Mashaya, S Mhembere, S Roche, F Mudariki, J Zietsman, B Scheepers, T Mujeni, F Mugwari, T Gonese, D Moolman, B Mandivenga, T Muringani, T Dhliwayo, H De La Fargue, E Snyman, S Coles, K Burger, T Mangwana, S Mhizha