By Lawrence Trusida
AFTER failing to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Zimbabwe is now looking to the future after selecting a youthful side for the Victoria Cup opener against Uganda in Kampala this Saturday.
The Sables missed out on the Rugby World Cup after finishing a disappointing fourth in the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup in France a fortnight ago.
With the focus now on qualifying for the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia, the Zimbabwe Rugby Union has started the rebuilding process early by announcing a youthful side for the Victoria Cup competition which will also feature Kenya.
The side is dominated by players, who were part of Zimbabwe’s Under-20 team, crowned African champions in April after beating Namibia in Kenya.
Flyhalf, Takudzwa Musingwini, who captained the Young Sables to victory in Kenya, leads the side in Kampala.
The exciting trio of fullback Brendon Marume and wingers Tawanda Matipano and Tavonga Ablant are also part of the squad after missing the Sables’ Rugby Africa campaign due to injuries.
The youthful side will play as the Goshawks and is being coached by Zimbabwe Under-20 coach Shaun De Souza, who guided the Young Sables to glory in Nairobi.
The Zimbabwean team will arrive in Uganda just before midnight on Friday, hours before the match.
After the Victoria Cup match, Zimbabwe will turn their attention to the World Rugby-sanctioned U20 International Series to be played in Canada, where they will take on Uruguay and Chile from the 14th to the 24gh of August.
After the International series the Young Sables will shift focus to the Junior World Cup Trophy set for October.