Paul Munyuki Sports Reporter
SABLES coach Cyprian “Supa” Mandenge has been forced to adjust his squad following the non-availability of some players with the gaffer having to rely more on forwards in the side that will face Tunisia in a Rugby Africa Cup game at Prince Edwards on Saturday.
The Sables are seeking their second win in this competition, having accounted for Kenya at the same venue two weeks ago.
Yesterday their heir coach named his final 23-man side with Mandenge making six changes to the team that beat Kenya.
While only one change has been made to the back-line, it is in the front pack that the coach has had to make major adjustments.
In the back-line, centre Riaan O’Neil who did not turn up for camp due to other commitments has been replaced by scrum-half Hilton Mudariki but five changes have taken place in the pack.
Front rowers Antipas Kamkwindo and Kudzai Muzorewa, flank Shingi Mpofu, lock Sanele Sibanda and number eight Kingsley Lang will not be part of the side that will face the North Africans on Saturday.
Sibanda has since roped in the South African-based pair of eighth-man Norman Mukondiwa and flanker Njabulo Ndlovu, veteran flanker Jacque Leitao, United Kingdom-based hooker Nico Nyemba and Kevin Nqindi.
Captain Denford Mutamangira, who arrived Tuesday night, was not able to train with the squad in the morning and in the afternoon but later joined the camp in the evening as he had to attend a family funeral following the passing away of his uncle.
“Most of the changes are in the forwards because most of the guys indicated they had other commitments mostly work commitments but as a coach you have to work with what you have at your disposal.
“It’s also good in some way because I feel that squad is a resemblance of good composition and they will do the job for me come Saturday. From now on until match day we will work on specifics and be more tactical.
“I would not say that there are much changes to the side though because in as much as some of the players were not available it is good for us because it’s also a chance to look at other options and build on the way forward and that will test our depth as well.
“Unfortunately Denford could not join us as earlier expected because he has had to attend his uncle’s funeral and pay his last respects out of town,” said Mandenge
Newboy Ndlovu – set to earn his first Sables cap on Saturday was upbeat yesterday and felt the “positive attitude in camp will win the game for us’’.
“The spirit in camp is so wonderful, the boys are very positive and despite the fact that I started training today (yesterday) with the team already I can tell attitude is what will win the game for us on Saturday and that is something we have.
“Team work and commitment are two other things that currently characterise our team so far and we have to maintain that because the Tunisians will come fighting, I know they are very physical but we will give it our all,” said Ndlovu.
Tangai Nemadire, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Cleopas Makotose, Boyd Rouse, Gardner Nechironga, Tichafara Makwanya, Charles Jiji, Denford Mutamangira (captain), Royal Mwale, Farai Mudariki, Fortune Chipendu, Biselele Tshamala, Jacques Leitao, Njabulo Ndlovu, Norman Mukondiwa, Kevin Nqindi, Andrew Rose, Lawrence Cleminson, Tatenda Murwira, Hilton Mudariki, Stephan Hunduza, Lenience Tambwera, Nico Nyemba.