A NEW era is set to dawn on local rugby with Bruce Hobson expected to be replaced by his first vice-president Themba Sibanda as Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) boss on Sunday. Â
The association’s new executive will be elected at an AGM at Old Hararians Sports Club.
Hobson, at the helm of the ZRU for two years in his three-year term, is not standing for re-election. Former Harare Sports Club rugby chairman Sibanda is likely to be elected unchallenged.
Harare Province Rugby Football Board chairman Terry Chambati said the provincial body will hold an emergency general meeting this morning to select their nominations for the ZRU posts. The Harare clubs are expected to unanimously back Sibanda for the union’s top job.
Under Hobson, Zimbabwe raised their Sevens profile on the IRB circuit and also qualified for last week’s Sevens World Cup in Dubai, where they won the Bowl Trophy.
But Hobson’s administration has come under serious criticism for its management of the XVs game. Barring the remote possibility of success in inter-continental play-offs, Zimbabwe’s Sables will miss out on the 2011 IRB World Cup in New Zealand.
The Sables last participated in the William Ellis Webb Trophy in 1992.
The youthful Sibanda, an active reserve team player at Harare Sports Club, is credited with turning around the club’s fortunes in recent years.
He has also been heavily involved administratively in youth rugby at HSC and at the national Under 21 level.Â His is younger brother to seasoned Harare Sports Club coach Nsikelelo “Sykes” Sibanda.
Meanwhile, the Matabeleland Rugby Football Board has nominated incumbent Alex Goosen to continue as second vice-president of the ZRU.
BY ENOCK MUCHINJO