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JUNIOR SABLES UPBEAT AHEAD OF CRAVEN WEEK

ZIMBABWE’S Under-18 rugby team coach Goodwin “Jaws” Murambiwa reckons his charges are better conditioned and ready for what should be a tough campaign at the U-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week which starts tomorrow in South Africa. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

The Old Mutual-bankrolled side leaves the country this morning ahead of their opening match against the Griquas Country Districts U-18 side at Kearsney College in Durban.

And after struggling to impose themselves against better-conditioned South African provincial sides and rivals Namibia in the last two years, Murambiwa told Standardsport that this year they had managed to organise a programme for some of the players in the squad.

“This year, we managed to put some of the boys through a conditioning programme before the national trials so that’s a very good start and we will have high expectations. There were 40 boys that were on a training programme and from that group, we have about 11 players who were part of the programme, who are in the final squad,” said Murambiwa.

Last year, Murambiwa lamented lack of adequate preparation time as the main cause of the team’s failure to win a match at the highly-competitive tournament in the last two years.

The Under-18 side’s participation comes hard on the heels of three other junior tournaments in South Africa namely the Grant Khomo Week, the Under-13 Craven Week and the Under-18 Girls Week where Zimbabwean teams fared well.

Zimbabwe Under-18 Squad (1-15) – Samuel Garnett (St John’s College), Tinashe Chaza (Prince Edward), Cleopas Kundiona (Falcon College), Tonderai Chiwambutsa (Prince Edward), Daniel Hutchings (Peterhouse), Stuart Dodington (Falcon College), Tichaona Hwangwa (Churchill), Tendekai Chigwendere (Kyle College), Connor MacMillan (Peterhouse), Benjamin Meredith (Falcon College), Tapiwa Marimira (Prince Edward), Matthew McNab (Falcon College), Rodney Sachiti (Peterhouse), Rangarirai Mariwa (Kyle College), Martin Mangongo (Peterhouse)
16-23 – Marcus Nichole (Peterhouse), Simbarashe Maringira (Falcon College), Desmond Annandale (St John’s College), Travis Landing (Peterhouse), Godfrey Magaramombe (Kyle College), Jeremy Munyeza (St George’s College), Nqobisile Ncube (Falcon College), Peter Davis (Falcon College)

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