Sables Coach Mandenge Fired!
AS was highly anticipated after the Sables’ devastating show in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, the Cyprian Mandenge led Zimbabwe senior national rugby technical team has been dissolved.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union chief executive officer Blessing Chiutare informed the ZRU board on Tuesday that the Sables technical team had been disbanded following the team’s pathetic show in the Gold Cup. Chiutare said the decision was taken after an assessment of the team’s display in the Gold Cup where the Sables finished fifth out of six teams.
“This is to advise that after a technical meeting to review the performance of the Sables in the just ended Africa Gold Cup. It was been (sic) decided to disband and disengage the current Sables technical team. The head coach (C Mandenge) has been advised of this decision to disband the team,’’ Chiutare said.
On the way forward, the ZRU head of secretariat said the position of Sables head coach will be advertised as a matter of urgency with a new mentor to be appointed so as to take the country’s flagship national rugby team forward.
“The position for head coach will be advertised as soon as possible and a replacement coach appointed to ensure that a working plan is put in place to ensure that the Sables continue their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers,’’ Chiutare said.
Former Sables coach Brendan Dawson, who Mandenge succeeded in 2015 is highly expected to return to the post.
Even with the ZRU board’s future being uncertain with the Sports and Recreation expected to dissolve the Nyararai Sibanda led structure after an emergency meeting, the decision to fire Mandenge should stand since it was made by the acting director of rugby Nsikelelo Sibanda and Chiutare who have the power to make such resolutions.
The Sables still have a chance to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan despite their poor display in the Gold Cup. The winner of the Gold Cup next year will automatically seal a spot in Japan while the runner up have an opportunity to also make it via the repechage route where they will play against runners up from other continental qualifiers.