Piet Benade named new Sables head coach ahead of Africa Cup

Sables interim head coach Piet Benade with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union president Aaron Jani and Delta Beverages marketing manager Irimayi Muzorewa at a Press briefing in Harare on Friday. CREDIT Grindstone/Jeffrey Murimbechi

Former Western Province fly-half Piet Benade has been unveiled as the new head coach of the Zimbabwe national rugby team on an interim basis ahead of their long-awaited return to Test rugby in July.

Benade’s appointment was confirmed at a ceremony in Harare on Friday, where Delta Beverages, through their Sable Lager brand were confirmed as the sponsors of the country’s flagship rugby team, which is popularly known as the Sables.

The 42-year-old Benade has been an assistant coach under outgoing Zimbabwe head coach Brendan Dawson.

Recently he has been in charge of local club giants Old Hararians.

The newly appointed interim Sables head coach will take charge of the team during their participation in July’s crucial Africa Cup tournament in Uganda.

The Sables will return to Test rugby in the Africa Up which will be played in Uganda in July

The Sables are scheduled to meet the hosts in the opening match of the continental competition which will serve as the first phase of Africa’s qualifiers for the next Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2027.

It will be an enormous task for Zimbabwe, because only the top four out of the eight countries in this year’s Africa Cup will proceed to the final phase of World Cup qualifiers next year.

The other six teams heading to Uganda are Namibia, Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia, Tunisia and Algeria.

Ex-Prince Edward School maestro Benade, a creative kingpin in one of the best schoolboy sides ever assembled in Zimbabwe, earned his coaching badges in the Cape Town area, where he has played and coached since around the turn of the millennium.

He had his first test of Currie Cup rugby in 2004 for Province, few years after leaving his home country Zimbabwe to study at Stellenbosch University, and making his maiden appearance against SWD Eagles in the absence of Springbok Werner Greeff.

As a player, Benade turned out for multiple clubs in his adopted province, where he was a firm favourite of rugby-mad Cape folk.

Benade also earned a handful of caps for Zimbabwe at senior level, both for the 15s and Sevens side.



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