Nemadire and Sibanda to miss World Cup qualifier

The Zimbabwe Sables were dealt a big blow ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Russia on August 2, following the none-availability of Tendai Nemadire and Gerald Sibanda due to work commitments.

Gerald Sibanda
Gerald Sibanda

The two will not be travelling with the squad that leaves Harare tomorrow for a make-or-break World Cup qualifier, after the local side failed to get automatic entry via the Africa Zone qualifiers in Madagascar early this month.

“Nemadire and Sibanda have not been allowed time-off at work and will not be travelling with us. It’s a blow to lose such experienced players at this juncture but there is nothing we can do about it,” said coach Brendan Dawson.

Nemadire and Sibanda have been vital cogs in the Sables machine and the non-availability of Nemadire in particular will force Dawson to change his tactics as the player has played for the team for some time and had been pillar of strength in the squad.

The World Cup qualifier will be held in the Siberian town of Krasnoyarsk with the winner set to play the victor of the game between Hong Kong and Uruguay for that vital place at the World Cup finals to be held in England next year.

The winners of the two matches will face each other in a two legged repechage final for that vital place at the finals in England in which they have already been drawn against Australia, England, Wales and Fiji in Pool A of Rugby’s pinnacle tournament next year.

Dawson said he was still hopeful that Zimbabwe would qualify for the World Cup, having missed out in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011.

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