Junior Sables prodigy included in Goshawks matchday squad

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Brendon Marume

Exciting Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby star Brendon Marume has been included in the Zimbabwe Goshawks’ matchday squad for the crunch Currie Cup First Division match against the Kenya Simbas at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

Marume was one of the stars of the Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby team which beat Namibia in the final of the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy in Namibia last Sunday.

The gifted teenage fullback is one new additions in the matchday 23 named by head coach Brendan Dawson on Thursday together with props Gabriel Sipapate and Doug Juszczyk, centre Marcus Nel and utility back Riaan O’Neil.

The duo of Marcus Nel and Ryan O’Neil will be immediately called into action as the two have made the starting line-up for the Kenya game, coming in at the fly-half and outside centre positions.

Marume has been named amongst the replacements alongside Sipapate and Juszcyk, who are based in Spain and New Zealand respectively.

The Goshawks will be seeking their first win of the Currie Cup First Division campaign after back-to-back losses in the opening two fixtures.

The Zimbabwe side lost 34-10 to Georgian outfit Black Lion in their first game before losing 48-5 to the defending champions Griffons in their last outing two weeks ago.

Kenya, who are competing as Simbas have only played one match so far, which ended in a 54-14 defeat at the hands of the Falcons in Johannesburg.

Zimbabwe will be aiming to make a statement against Kenya ahead of the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup to be staged in France in July.

The teams are expected to travel to France for the Rugby Africa Cup tournament, which is also being used as qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

They will be part of the eight-team knockout tournament that also includes Namibia, Senegal, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Ivory Coast.

Zimbabwe will begin the tournament with a date against Ivory Coast, with the winner meeting the victor of the clash between Namibia and Burkina Faso.

Kenya, on the other hand, begin their campaign with a date against Uganda, and the winner will meet the victor of the tie between Senegal and Algeria.

Winner of the eight-nation Africa Cup on July 10 will advance to the World Cup in 2023 in France.

Zimbabwe Goshawks Starting XV: 1-15: Victor Mupunga, Matthew Mandioma, Bornwell Gwinji, Kudakwashe Nyakufaringwa, Andrew Evans, Biselele Tshamala, Johan du Preez, Aiden Burnett, Hilton Mudariki (captain), Rian O’Neil, Ernest Mudzengerere, Takudzwa Chieza, Marcus Nel, Russell Dinha, Conor Kennedy

Replacements: 16-23: Declan Ralphs, Doug Juszczyk, Gabriel Sipapate, David Makamba, Godwin Mangenje, Tonderai Chiwambutsa, Kyle Galloway, Brendon Marume

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