Sykes to bring in new ideas at Sables

Nsikelelo “Sykes” Sibanda has promised to bring new ideas to the national rugby side, following his recent appointment as the new Sables assistant coach.

Assisting coach Cyprian Mandenge
Assisting coach Cyprian Mandenge

Assisting coach Cyprian Mandenge, Sibanda’s immediate task is to prepare the national team for the Rugby Africa Cup clash against Kenya, slated for Prince Edward in two weeks’ time. “I am very excited with this appointment and will make sure that my new expertise helps the team triumph,” said Sibanda.

“It has been a long journey for me in the sport, but life always carries challenges. I will take it one step at a time, but I promise that I will not disappoint those who appointed me, as they are very much aware of my capabilities. Unity remains the key for us as to achieve our goals.”

Sibanda was also full of praise for coach Mandenge. “I have known and worked with Mandenge for quite some time now and his approach to the game is very professional. I believe my ideas combined with his skills will lead to the success of the squad.

“I am very pleased that he has also shown great zeal in working with me and that means I already enjoy the support of the entire technical team. I feel at home with him and success is on its way for both the Sables and the nation.”

Sibanda previously worked with Mandenge for more than five years at Harare Sports Club, where they alternated in taking charge of the First XV, before Mandenge moved to Old Hararians two seasons ago.

Sibanda was himself relieved of his duties as Harare Sports Club coach at the beginning of this year, replaced by new Cheetahs coach, Daniel Hondo as player/coach for the 2015 domestic season.

A seasoned junior national teams coach, Sibanda was in charge of the Under-20 side during the last two years and prior to the introduction of the Junior World Rugby Trophy, he took charge of the Under-23 side.

He is also a holder of World Rugby Level II coaching certificate and was recently accredited as a coach educator, following a course conducted by World Rugby training manager Jock Peggie. He

also sits on the panel of selectors tasked with conducting national trials at the ZB Sports Club, where a total four teams will take part over weekend, as they prepare a side to face Kenya.

The day-long tournament will see one Bulawayo side represent the Southern Region, while the Northern Region – predominantly Harare – is expected to field three teams – Harare Green, Harare Red and Harare White.

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