BRIGHT Chivandire says he is honoured to return to the Sables mix after he was on Tuesday appointed the national XV’s manager.
Chivandire, who has worked both as a player and a coach for the Sables team before, replaced Losson Mtongwiza who resigned from the post early this year following a racism storm.
Speaking to our sister paper NewsDay Sport yesterday, Chivandire said: “I am so honoured, excited and looking forward to working with my fellow members of the technical team and players. It feels good to be back and I will use my experience to help improve the team, but I am also here to learn, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Chivandire was the Sables coach in 2004 and he has previously worked with the Young Sables team in the same capacity.
“As the team manager I would want to make sure that the players’ welfare is looked after, in and out of training. One of my duties would be to make resources available for the players, to make sure that they are happy so that when the coaches come, they will find a group of people mentally prepared for the job,” he added.
Chivandire, who immediately started work soon after his appointment to this hugely important role, said his immediate task will be to prepare the team for the World Cup qualifiers in Madagascar in June.
“Qualifying for the World Cup is the main priority. We have to be fully prepared for that and hopefully we will qualify. I have already started work because there are some warm-up matches that we need to prepare for. The names of the teams we will face in those matches will be released in due course,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Rugby Union has reportedly targeted five competitive warm-up matches for the team ahead of World Cup qualifiers to be played in the months of June and July.
The winner of the qualification tournament, involving hosts Madagascar, Namibia, Kenya and the Sables will automatically take Africa’s sole qualification slot at the World Cup in England next year.