SA-born Fraser set for Sables debut

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Jason Fraser in action for French Pro D2 side USON Nevers

Highly rated-South Africa-born loose forward Jason Fraser will make his Sables in the much-anticipated Test match against the Netherlands at the National Rugby Centre Amsterdam in the Dutch capital on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Durban-born flanker came through the youth ranks at the Sharks and Golden Lions before featuring for South African Currie Cup teams Boland Cavaliers, Pumas and Griquas between 2014 and 2017.

Fraser is now teammates with injured front-rower Farai Mudariki Nevers in the French Pro D2 which has been his home for the last five years.

He is expected to add some much-needed experience in the Sables line-up as they go in search of a confidence-boosting performance in their last match before the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup.

Fraser is one of the three debutants named in Zimbabwe’s starting 15 to face the Netherlands along with the highly-rated Hong Kong-based number eight Nyasha Tarusenga and Zimbabwe Under-20 team captain Takudzwa Musingwini, who starts at fullback.

Zimbabwe Under-20 captain Takudzwa Musingwini will make his Sables debut at fullback

Ex-Zimbabwe Under-20 international James Forester, who had a stint at English championship side Hartpury RFC is also in line to make his Sables debut from the replacements.

The other three uncapped players in the matchday squad are hooker Liam Larkan, flank Johan Du Preez and loosehead prop Victor Mupunga.

The match against the Netherlands is the final opportunity for Sables players to stake their claim for a place in the Rugby Africa Cup quarterfinal against Ivory Coast on July 2.

The match comes exactly a week before the Zimbabwe side begin their Rugby Africa Cup 2022 campaign in France.

This year’s Rugby Africa Cup, which will be held in France from July 1 to 10, 2022 also serves as the final round of the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying for African countries.

Winning against the higher-ranked Netherlands side in Amsterdam would pour even more confidence into a side who are aiming to win this year’s continental competition and qualify Zimbabwe for their first Rugby World Cup since 1991.

The Netherlands are ranked 26th on the latest World Rugby rankings, eight places higher than the number 34-ranked Zimbabwe rugby side.

Sables Matchday Squad (1-15): Tyran Fagan, Matthew Mandioma, Cleopas Kundiona, Sean Beevor, Godfrey Muzanargwo, Jason Fraser, Biselele Tshamala, Nyasha Tarusenga, Hilton Mudariki (captain), Marcus Nel, Shingirai Katsvere, Takudzwa Chieza, Matthew McNab, Shayne Makombe, Takudzwa Musingwini

Replacements: Victor Mupunga, Liam Larkan, Bornwell Gwinji, Godwin Mangenje, Johan du Preez, Kyle Galloway, James Forrester, Ngoni Chibuwe

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