World Cup Action

Two Maritzburg-based UKZN students, Matthew Mandioma and Shayne Makombe have been selected in the Zimbabwe national squad for the World Cup Qualifying Tournament to be played in the Stade Mahamasina in Antanararivo, Madagascar. The Stade Mahamasina is well known for its unique atmosphere; the stadium has only 23,000 seats, yet over 40,000 Malagasy regularly cram the standing terraces when their beloved Les Makis play international matches, and has been described by SARU CEO Jurie Roux as the as the most intimidating rugby atmosphere he has experienced.

Shayne enjoyed some attention during the Varsity Shield tournament, where he won the Varsity Shield backline player of the tournament.

Both Matt and Shayne are on TRUDA SNACKS tuition bursaries at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's PMB campus. TRUDA company director is ex Varsity and Natal lock Colin van Heerden.

The Zimbabwe team go into camp next week and will also play a friendly against a Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup selection.

The 4 Nations qualifying tournament participants are Madagascar, Zim, Namibia and Kenya (who will have their entire Sevens contingent available). The tournament winner will automatically qualify for RWC. The runner up has a second chance in the repechage, where they will face the winner of the Germany v Russia play-off.

Zim Qualifiers: 28 June v Madagascar; 2 July v Namibia, 6 July v Kenya

Former Sharks forward, Lambert Groenewald has also been included in Zim squad, and former College Rovers & Sharks halfback twins, Guy and Ross Cronje have also been called up, although their current employer, the Lions franchise has not yet agreed to release them.

Mark Schulze