A programme has been set up by the then President of Zimbabwe Rugby Union, Themba Sibanda, with a view to getting the best players in the country playing at the highest level possible, if they were not involved in big clubs already. The programme started in 2011 and has grown from strength to strength, with three players in Scotland, as well as around 15 Players at the Sharks Academy and another 5/6 Players based at Big Clubs and Universities throughout South Africa.
It is hoped that, through this programme, Zimbabwe will create enough strength in depth to assist the process of qualifying for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
We are well on the way to achieving this objective and should have more than 20 at the Sharks and more than 10 at Local rugby clubs in South Africa, plus at least another 5/6 playing in Europe/UK.
The programme is funded through Themba Sibanda, "Themba has a passion for Zimbabwean rugby and for helping young players come through the system! "
Photos by Charmaine Chitate www.highontalent.com
Zimbabwean Players based at the Sharks Academy on the Player assistance programme, have made the Test Squad ie Kuda Chiwanza, Lenience Tambwera, Shayne Makombe, Matthew Simba Mandioma and also Simba Bwanya of Rovers, and played against Madagascar (Won the semi-finals) and Kenya (Lost in the final after leading half – time) in the Africa Qualifiers. The extended squad included a few others prior to the announcement of the final 24. All the eligible Zimbabwean players at the Sharks Academy in 2013 have attended the Sharks Under 19 and 21 Trials. Chieza and Miekle have both made the Under 21 Squads again. Lenience Tambwera has now been called up into the Sharks Under 21 Squad to train with them and has been doing well. He also made the KZN Wildebeest Team to play in a National Tournament in October and is coming into his own as an accomplished Flyhalf/Fullback.
Denford Mutamangira has now completed his training with the Glasgow Warriors Squad as well and is back with Ayr RFC, so all good news for Zimbabwe.
UK Based players Martin Wolfenden and Andrew Rose also played for the Zimbabwe Test Team over the past week.
UKZN Varsity Shield Team are interested in looking after a few of the players for 2013/14 and negotiations are currently under way.
Raiders RFC in JHB also were looking after Fidel Nyabusha in 2013, and will be taking him again in 2014, and are looking at contracting Lenience Tambwera and Shayne Makombe in 2014, to study in JHB and play for Raiders in the Community Shield.
The UK programme was initially started in 2001 (over 100 players benefited from both sides of the World ieUKandSouth Africa) in KwaZulu Natal and adopted by SARU at the end of 2009..
We arrange your placement at a local club/province in SA for 3-6 months from between March and September...