The Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby team’s technical, department has named a talent-laded expanded squad of 61 players in preparation for the World Rugby-sanctioned U20 International Series to be played in Canada in August.
The Junior Sables, who are the reigning African champions after clinching the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy in Kenya in April will represent the continent in the four-nation tournament which will also feature the hosts Canada, Chile and Uruguay.
Following the cancellation of the World Rugby U20 Championship and Trophy 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, World Rugby has worked with regions and unions to identify safe competition opportunities.
The International Series which will be played from August 9 to 24 at the University of Guelph campus in Ontario is expected to give the Junior Sables some much-needed international exposure ahead of next year’s World Rugby U20 Trophy.
Junior Sables head coach Shaun de Souza said after recently receiving an invitation to feature in the high-profile tournament, they have named a preliminary squad of 61 players while they are still awaiting confirmation on the availability of some players based in South Africa.
“We have called up a squad of players for this campaign comprising 31 forwards and 30 backs who I think can step up to the occasion. We still have some South Africa-based players who are yet to confirm their availability which just makes selection even harder which is a good headache to have ahead of this series,” De Souza told ZimSportLive in an interview.
The former Zimbabwe international made appeal to corporates and sponsors to come on board and support the team which many believe is destined for greatness after their feat in Kenya.
“This series gives teams playing in the World Rugby U20 Trophy an opportunity to get some game time before the resumption of this event in 2023. We are hoping to prepare adequately before our participation but it’s not possible without adequate resources which is why we want to appeal to corporates and sponsors to come on board and support the team. These youngsters are the future of Zimbabwe rugby and with the necessary support there is no limit to what they can achieve, the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy was just the beginning,” said De Souza.
The squad is dominated by players who were part of the group which sensationally won the Africa Rugby U20 Barthes Trophy with a victory over Namibia in the final.
Junior Sables U20 Squad
Props: Tomuvonga Msasanure, Happias Zhou, Nqobile Manyara, Tadiwa Chinwada, Farai Madzima, Veshal Jasi, Martin Hakunavanhu
Hookers: Marlon Guwuriro, Bryan Chiang, Takunda Mudzingwa, Tawanda Banda, Takudzwa Zvomuya
Locks: Simbarashe Siraha, Tamuka Kambani, Solomon Zawe, Tadiwanashe Marumisa, Craig Snyder
Loose forwards: Andrew Rinomhota, Tendai Chimyama, Tanaka Ndoro, Muzuva Gutu, Anthony Kalubi, Andy Maringo, Rua Karimazondo, David Mangwende , Gary Kagande , Phillip Ehlers , Gealan Jaricha
Utility Forwards: Tanaka GondoMukandapi, Denzel Maramba , Daniel Johnson
Scrum Halves: Panashe Zuze, Tanaka Ndabambi, Shadrick Mandaza, Welton Charumbira, Matthew Hickey
Fly Halves: Benjamin Pattenden, Takudzwa Musingwini, Stephen Terera
Centres: Rukudzo Ndoro, Carl Kawodza, Alex Nyamunda, Dion Khumalo, Tanaka Chinyanga, Brooklyn Chikaka, Crispen Mashingaidze, Jerome Sagomba , Giles Munyamana
Outside backs: Liberty Sibanda, Tariro Tapfuma, Brendan Mason, Tawanda Matipano, Tavonga Ablant, Munotida Marimirofa, Josiah Borerwe, Emmanuel Farawu, Lesley Mubeto, David Yosa , Hunter Chiutsi
Utility Backs: Simbarashe Kanyangarara, Brendan Marume