SCRUMHALF Tangai Nemadire will captain the Zimbabwe Sevens side at the Blue Bulls Sevens in Pretoria this weekend.
Nemadire, a winger/fullback at XVs, is standing in for injured substantive Zimbabwe Sevens skipper Jacques Leitao, who got a knock during the Potchesfroom Sevens tournament won by the Zimbabwe Goshawks two weeks ago.
Cape Town-based Nemadire has evolved in four years from being one of the Zimbabwe Sevens youngest players to become a key member of the side.
The pacey 23-year-old former Zimbabwe Under 19 winger is also a regular Zimbabwe national XVs team winger.
“The coaches concurred that ‘Too Bad’ should captain,” said Zimbabwe Sevens manager Bruce Hobson.
“He is emerging from the shadows to become the next generation of the frontline Zimbabwe Sevens players.”
Zimbabwe takes part in the Blue Bulls Sevens at Takkies two weeks after clinching the Potchesfroom Sevens in South Africa’s North West province. They will still be carrying the Goshawks title since they are not full strength. All the same, the Zimbabweans under assistant coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba, should be the team to beat in a tournament also involving three other national sides- Zambia, Botswana
and Swaziland and South Africa’s top provincial sides.
The Zimbabweans are preparing for the IRB Sevens World Cup Africa Zone qualifying tournament in Tunisia later this month. The preliminary draw was held last week, with the Cheetahs being seeded in an easy group with Madagascar, Botswana and Nigeria.
The Goshawks are meanwhile taking 10 players instead of 12. Front-rower Grant Mitchell pulled out after damaging a cartilage during training on Monday. He has been instructed by a physio not play contact for 10 days.
Mitchell, who doubles as the team’s fitness trainer, said the players were in fine shape.
“From a fitness point of view the guys are more prepared than they’ve ever been,” he said yesterday. “The guys playing outside the country are getting good conditioning at their clubs and they will come into the system fit already.”
Meanwhile, the International Rugby Board has released the draw for the George Sevens in South Africa.
Tangai Nemadire (captain), Slater Ndlovu, Gardner Nechironga, Cleopas Makotose, Wes Mbanje, Alex Ndangana, Willis Magasa, Gerald Sibanda, Manasah Sita, Tafadzwa Mhende.