Takudzwa Chitsiga in HARARE and Carlos Kambaekwa in WINDHOEK
THE Sables plunge into a make-or-break tie against Namibia in Windhoek today knowing that only a victory will see them lifting the Africa Cup.

Denford Mutamangira will lead the team that left the country yesterday.

“We are going there to do our best, the guys are looking forward to the game and we would like to return with a win,” said Mutamangira.

“There are a few absentees but that will not affect us as a team, they gave their excuses and the match is supposed to go on.

“So, we are going to do duty with what we have.

“We began camp late and the morale was somehow affected, but we will try and psyche the players so that we play as a team.

“The game is a big one and everyone would love to take part.”

The World Cup-bound Welwitschias are in no mood for charity as they go into their final preparation match against eternal rivals Zimbabwe.

The much-improved Namibians are on the rampage, enjoying arguably their best run of preparatory matches going into the global showpiece.

The fired-up Welwitschias return to their happy hunting ground, for a confrontation with the Sables, in what promises to be an exciting clash of the titans in the Windhoek Draught Africa Cup final.

Veteran skipper Jacques Burger will be a notable absentee as the flanker has returned to the United Kingdom to tie up few loose ends with his English club Saracens.

His departure has opened the door for loose-forward Rohan Kitshoff, to wear the captain’s armband against the equally dangerous Zimbabweans.

Burger will rejoin the rest of his team-mates in Durban, South Africa, later this month for a training camp with the fellow World Cup campaigners, the Springboks.

The inclusion of Kitshoff is one of ten changes to the starting line-up from the side that saw off a stubborn Kenyan outfit (46-13) in Windhoek last weekend.

The team includes five members who started in the victory against Kenya, with hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld, locks Tjiuee Uanivi and Janco Venter, flyhalf Theuns Kotzè and fullback Chrysander Botha all in the starting line-up.

The pair of Prop Johannes Coetzee and loose-forward Renaldo Bothma, who both came off the bench last weekend, has been given starting berths.

Head Coach Phil Davies says the rationale behind the change in playing personnel is aimed at maintaining consistency.

“We always look at the spine of the team, which is also about making sure we pick a team that could win games. It’s also in line with our 23-man or in this case 22-man strategy, selecting a team that could give us a full high intensity 80 minutes performance“.

Winger Danie Dames, who made his Super Rugby debut for the Free State Cheetahs this year, will make his home debut for Namibia since last year’s European Tour.

PROBABLE LINE-UP

Zimbabwe

Denford Mutamangira (Captain), Royal Mwale, Tatenda Murwira, Fortune Chipendo, Sanile Sibanda, Andrew Rose, Biselele Tshamala, Kingsley Lang, Hilton Mudariki, Tichafara Makwanya, Gerald Sibanda, Lenience Tambwera, Riaan Oneil, Tangai Nemadire.

Subs

Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Charles Jiji, Boyd Rouse, Tatenda Karuru, Brian Makamure, Kyle de Beer, Steven Hunduza, Lucky Sithole.

Coach: Cyprian Mandenge, Assistant coach: Nsikelelo Sibanda, Team Manager: Sebastian Garikai.

Namibia

1. Casper Viviers, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 3 Johannes Coetzee, 4 Tjiuee Uanivi, 5 Janco Venter, 6 Rohan Kitshoff (Capt) 7 Tinus du Plessis, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 9 Arthur Bouwer, 10 Theuns Kotzè, 1 Russell van Wyk, 12 Johan Deysel, 13 JC Greyling, 14 Danie Dames, 15 Chrysander Botha

Reserves:

16 Rathony Becker, 17 Johnnie Redelinghuys, 18 Raoul Larson, 19 Thomasua Forbes, 20 PJ van Lill, 21 Eneill Buitendag, 22 Johan Tromp

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