SPAIN-based lock Jan Ferreira will lead the 26-man President’s XV squad that will do duty against the Steval Puma of South Africa this afternoon at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds.
The game kicks off at 4pm.
Team manager Sebastian Garikai named the side yesterday before they left Old Hararians Sports Club for Bulawayo. Sables assistant coach, Nsikelelo “Sykes” Sibanda, will be in charge with Cyprian “Supa” Mandenge player-assessing from the terraces.
Lawrence Cleminson, Moses Gunda, Jeremy Mututu and Bastian Mendelsohn complete the foreign-based contingent in the largely uncapped Zimbabwe squad that will play as the Presidents XV as this is not a Test match since they are playing a provincial side.
However, scrummy Taddy Dzandiwandira sat out of Wednesday’s training session at Old Hararians complaining of a rib injury while winger Tangai Nemadire withdrew due to a groin problem.
“Those were just minor knocks and twitches and I am sure they will be good for the game,” said Mande- nge.
As a precautionary measure, Cheetahs players were withdrawn from the President’s XV squad as the Sevens side is set to take part in a crucial World Sevens Series core qualifier in three weeks’ time, At least 10 Cheetahs players had been named in the Presidents XV side and, coupled with the withdrawal of foreign-based players, Mandenge has been left with a selection head- ache.
Biselele Tshamala, Njabulo Ndlovu, Riaan O’Neill, Shayne Makombe, Lenience Tambwera, Stephan Hunduza and Boyd Rouse are the Cheetahs who had been named in Mandenge’s President XV squad. The Pumas arrived in Bulawayo on Wednesday afternoon and conducted a training clinic yesterday as part of them giving back to the Zimbabwe rugby community.
The clash between the Presidents XV and Pumas will be the first international match Bulawayo will host since 2011.
The last time a senior side featured in an international match in Bulawayo was when the Sables beat Uganda 49-21 in the Victoria Cup competition.
The game was facilitated by Kyros Sports Management who last month staged a historic game when they brought Super Rugby Sides, the Cheetahs and Blue Bulls, to play in Zimbabwe for the first time.
Presidents XV: Lawrence Cleminson, Jan Ferreira, Bastian Mendelsohn, Kudzai Muzorewa, Moses Gunda, Jeremy Mututu, Ngoni Chibuwe, Adrian Banda, Irvine Nduwa, Japhet Ndebele, Pieter Joubert, Tinashe Bopoto, Sandile Lupuwana, Hardlife Masunda, Jason McKay, Nelson Madida, Tapiwa Mangezi, Kudzi Mudzekenyedze, Kuda Chimukuyu, Mike Zvakavapano, Walter Gode, Tendai Dzongodza, Tawanda Chowe, Taddy Whata, Schalk Ferreira, Lloyd Machanjaira
Pumas Squad: Bernado Botha, Marné Coetzee, Francois du Toit, Tyler Fisher, Stephan Greeff, Carel Greeff, Johan Herbst, Hugo Kloppers, Hoffmann Maritz, Khwezi Mona, Dylan Peterson, Marcello Sampson, Marnus Schoeman, Hennie Skorbinski, Jannie Stander, Heinrich Steyl, Emile Temperman, Nardus van der Walt, Marlou van Niekerk, Justin van Staden, Leighton van Wyk and Simon Westraadt. — sportszone.co.zw