By Mehluli Sibanda
Utility back Brandon Mudzekenyedzi, who plays for Waikato Rugby Union in New Zealand’s Mitre Cup, has confirmed his availability for the Zimbabwe Academy in this year’s SuperSport Rugby Challenge and the Sables.
Mudzekenyedzi left Zimbabwe with his family as a youngster and has developed into a terrific rugby player, breaking into New Zealand’s second tier competition where he plays on the wing and at centre.
He met Sables coach Brendan Dawson and team manager Jason Maritz who were in New Zealand for the whole of last week on attachment at Super Rugby side Hurricanes.
Dawson and Maritz also met tight head prop Boyd Wiggins, who plays for Houghston Saber Cats in the National Rugby League and Old Glory flyhalf Jason Robertson.
Maritz described the trip to New Zealand as fruitful and said there was an opportunity for Sables players to be attached at the Hurricanes.
“We are in talks regarding players’ relationship with the Hurricanes where we could potentially send players to the Wellington Lions. They would be happy to consider looking after one or two players and help develop our players in New Zealand. We therefore have good news for Zimbabwe,” Maritz said.
“The trip was excellent. The Hurricanes have been very open from senior management all the way down to players. They have been accessible and open to sharing ideas, strategies, culture as well as information around patterns and game plans. It was awesome to be on the inside as they prepared for the Chiefs game. It’s amazing to see how a Super Rugby team operates and goes about its business.”
Dawson was more at home since his game plan is similar to that of the 2016 Super Rugby champions, showing that Zimbabwe are moving in the right direction.
Maritz feels Zimbabwe lack the expertise and resources to improve the game.
“The only thing we lack as Zimbabwe is the technology, which is something that we are looking into because the technology and the resources they have is second to none. It really helps them make the right decisions around player management and around certain game plans as well as opposition tactics,” Maritz said.
The Sables are scheduled to go into camp on April 14 ahead of their fixture against the Sharks in Durban. The Chronicle