From : Dailynews.co.zw

9 July 2012

By : Enock Muchinjo

HARARE – Zimbabwe rugby coach Brendan Dawson has opted for Australia-based debutant fullback Raymond de Jong in his starting line-up for the clash with hosts Tunisia in a Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Group 1A opener tomorrow evening.

It is a massive first test cap for the former Zimbabwe Under-20 star De Jonge, who last played representative rugby for his country of birth at the IRB World Junior Rugby Trophy in Ireland back in 2007.

The University of Queensland Academy player has been left with big shoes to fill, taking the place of regular fullback Danny Robertson, the Sables’ most outstanding player in their unbeaten 2011 season.

Old Hararians utility back Robertson missed the Tunisia trip after picking up an injury during last week’s National Rugby League derby between OH and Harare Sports Club.

In Robertson’s absence, Germany-based Gardner Nechironga —who was outstanding on the wing for the Sables last year — was expected to take over the number 15 jersey for the Tunisia tie.

Nechironga, however, arrived late from his German base in Heidelberg and will have to be content with a place on the bench.

Wingers Tangai Nemadire and Kuda Chiwanza complete the back three for the Sables while Old Georgians versatile backliner Scotty Jones gets the nod at scrumhalf ahead of England-based livewire Charles Jiji.

In the forwards, tight-head Jakov Jakov, who kept his Harare Sports Club teammate Kudakwashe Kambasha out of the touring party, starts in the front row alongside loose-head Denford Mutamangira and veteran hooker Prayer Chitenderu.

Matabelaland Warriors’ Jan Ferreira partners captain Costa Dinha in the second row ahead of Fortune Chipendo.

First choice eighthman Norman Mukondiwa, alongside flankers Jacques Leitao and Shingi Mpofu, make up the loose trio.

The winner of tomorrow’s game will play the winner between Kenya and Uganda on Saturday.

The winner of the tournament will be crowned African champions.

STARTING LINE-UP

15. Raymond de Jonge, 14. Kuda Chiwanza, 13. Cleopas Makotose, 12. Daniel Hondo, 11. Tangai Nemadire, 10. Tichafara Makwanya, 9. Scotty Jones, 8. Norman Mukondiwa, 7. Jacques Leitao 6. Shingi Mpofu, 5. Jan Ferreira 4. Costa Dinha (capt), 3. Jakov Jakov, 2. Prayer Chitenderu, 1. Denford Mutamangira.