For rugby, a new era beckons

04 Feb, 2018 - 00:02 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union looks to have found its man with a formal announcement on who will be the next Sables coach expected this week.

ZRU chairman Aaron Jani confirmed that a team tasked with interviewing potential candidates had submitted its recommendations.

“I can confirm that we are close to identifying the next Sables coach,” he said. “Our technical committee conducted interviews over the last couple of weeks and have since handed in their findings.

“I intend to go over it this weekend and will be in a better position to announce the name sometime next week.

“Ordinarily, the matter is supposed to go to the board, with our next meeting slated for February 10, but thanks to the Internet all these things can be done in a matter of days.” The next rugby national team coach will come from a list comprising former Springboks head gaffer Peter De Villiers, British coach Collin Osborne, Peter Engledow, and former Sables boss Brendan Dawson.

Osborne is attached to English Premiership side Harlequins where he is the skills coach, De Villiers is the director of rugby at the University of Western Cape, and Engledow is in charge of Currie Cup side Griquas.

The Sables have been without a coach since August 2017 when the ZRU fired Cyprian Mandenge after a disastrous Rugby Africa Gold Cup campaign in which Zimbabwe finished fifth out of six teams, with their only victory coming against Senegal in Dakar.

Since then, finding a new coach has been a top priority, especially considering that this year’s Gold Cup, which will double as qualifiers for next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, is a few months away.

The winners of this year’s campaign will automatically qualify for the World Cup while the runners-up will get a second chance through the repêchage.

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