Nhekairo, Bwanya to lead Junior Sables squad in Barthes Trophy

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Benoni Nhekairo in action during last year's World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Kenya

Tawananyasha Bwanya and Benoni Nhekairo will return for their second stints with the Junior Sables, this time as co-captains of the Zimbabwean squad for the Rugby Africa U-20 Barthes Trophy, which will kick off in Harare later this month.

The Junior Sables squad for the continental competition – where Zimbabwe are seeking a third successive title – was announced at the weekend.

Nhekairo and Bwanya were part of the squad that defeated Kenya in the final of last year’s tournament in Nairobi before representing Zimbabwe at the World Rugby Under-20 Rugby Trophy.

Junior Sables head coach Shaun De Souza also included Allan Mwawunga Edward Sigauke, Tadiwanashe Unganai and Brendan Jameson, who are returning for their second dance in the Barthes Trophy after making their debuts last year.

In fact speedster Sigauke was the hero for Zimbabwe in the final of last year’s tournament after scoring a brace of tries during the 28-7 win against Kenya at a rain soaked Nyayo National stadium in Nairobi.

Zimbabwe will face competition from Kenya, Namibia and Tunisia as they bid to make it three consecutive Rugby Africa Under-20 Barthes Trophy in this year’s tournament which kicks off at Harare Sports Club on April 18.

The winner of the tournament will secure qualification for the 2024 World Rugby U-20 Trophy —the 14th edition of the second-tier age-grade rugby competition.

This year, the tournament will be held in Scotland for the first time, specifically at the 7,800-capacity Edinburgh Rugby Stadium in July.

Junior Sables Squad

Fowards: Samuel Edwards, Louange Mutimawurukundo, Emmanuel Gabi, Tawanyasha Bwanya (Co-captain), Thabani Ndlovu, Joseph Benning, Innocent Dekete, Allan Mawunga, Tatenda Runyowa, Kudzai Tsvakirai, Huntsmann Greaves, Tafara Dewa, Giordan Sarpo, Polite Phiri, Takudzwa Matsvimbo, Rogers Tayengwa

Backs: Koluwani Moyo, Tinotenda Rusike, Emmanuel Magutakuona, Alex Kern, Brendan Jameson, Shammah Jackson, Benoni Nhekairo (Co-captain), Tadiwanashe Unganai, Wayne Kunaka, Tadiwa Maradze, Kaitano Tembo, Tadiwa Madya, Cody Grant, Tanaka Mupamhadzi, Vuyani Ncube, Edward Sigauke

Rugby Africa Under-20 Barthes Trophy Fixtures

Matchday 1 April 20

Kenya vs Tunisia 2pm
Zimbabwe vs Tunisia

Matchday 2 24 April

Kenya vs Tunisia 2pm
Zimbabwe vs Namibia 4pm

Matchday 3 Sunday 28 April

Namibia vs Tunisia 2pm
Zimbabwe vs Kenya 4pm

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