Boroughmuir’s Andy Rose blooms as Zimbabwe skipper
Rose was called off the bench and named skipper for the Zimbabwe “Sables” after Daniel Hondo suffered concussion in Friday’s 35-26 defeat to Namibia.
Boroughmuir Rugby’s chairman, the former Scotland back row and SRU chief executive, Bill Watson, was delighted to support Rose’s request to leave the club temporarily for a shot at international rugby.
Watson said: “When Andy was first included in this series of games for Zimbabwe, everyone at Boroughmuir Rugby was incredibly proud of him. For him to be named captain is just reward for the hard work that he puts in. This is a massive achievement for him personally.”
The games are part of the Windhoek Draft Tri Nations tournament which is designed to use the IRB window for autumn international matches to bring players together from across the world and begin to develop a squad spirit ahead of June’s World Cup qualifiers.
With South Africa guaranteed their place at the tournament, The Sables are aiming for the top African qualifier spot and will face Namibia, Kenya and qualifying tournament hosts Madagascar in the battle for a place in Pool C alongside New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and a further European qualifier.
Zimbabwe have looked for exiled players to aid their cause and are striving to reverse the loss of well-known Zimbabweans such as David Denton and Tendai Mtawarira, who could face each other at Murrayfield on Sunday when Sotland play South Africa, as well as Wallabies flanker David Pocock.
Rose played alongside Denton and Mtawarira at school and captained Zimbabwe under-19s, before following his Scottish connections and winning under-20 caps for Scotland, playing in a pack with Richie Gray, and being part of the Scotland sevens squad. Rose’s inability to make the step up to professional level, however, and having not played for Scotland at A level, he was still able to change tack and answer Zimbabwe’s call.
If the Sables qualify for the World Cup, they would be placed in Pool C together with holders New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and another qualifier from Europe.
Coach Brendan Dawson played for Zimbabwe when they last appeared at a World Cup in 1991 and believes that the nation is on the verge of returning.
“The prospect of playing New Zealand is quite exciting and enticing,” said Dawson. “Every player dreams of playing at the World Cup and I think we have a good opportunity this time.
“We will need to play a lot of quality rugby and we will need a lot of training camps but the good thing is that the player pool is increasing with this prospect. We have had so many players asking to be considered in the last few months as everybody expects us to qualify for the World Cup.”
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