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SCOTLAND-BASED Sables and Cheetahs winger Gerald Sibanda believes the right attitude will take the Zimbabwe senior rugby team to the Promised Land when they take part in the World Cup qualifiers in a month’s time. Sibanda is part of the extended Sables training side preparing for the Africa Cup set for Antananarivo, Madagascar, starting on June 28 and the Galashiles RFC back-liner feels a professional mindset will win Zimbabwe a place among the rugby greats.

Sibanda last played for the Sables in 2012 before he moved to Galashiles and his debut season at the Scottish Premiership side is one he would like to forget as he suffered an injury that kept him out of the game for six months.

But he picked himself up and this season his side finished second behind Melrose after losing on the final day, when they needed a win.

They lost 33-34 to Denford Mutamangira’s Ayr RFC who finished third.

But his focus and attention has since turned to his country and promised to serve with distinction in Zimbabwe’s battle to qualify for the World Cup.

“The set-up and structure of the Sables have changed for the better since the last time I was called to play for Zimbabwe and I should say Grant (Mitchell strength and conditioning coach) is doing a great job at the high performance centre,” said Sibanda.

“Thumbs up to the ZRU for the structure they have come up with this time and I am happy with the progress as they have done their best and it’s up to us as players to give our best.

“There are a number of new and young players and this definitely gives competition for the jersey and each one of us has to be dedicated to the role we are supposed to be playing.

“We are going to be playing Kenya, Namibia and Madagascar and each one of those teams would want to qualify for the World Cup.

“Our preparations might not be exactly what many people expected but we need to be professional.

“We have the talent and if we look at the composition of the squad that was called into camp so far I would tell you we have the best talented side, but talent alone cannot get us there that is why we need the correct attitude and professional mindset.”

Sibanda feels that the past two seasons in Scotland have given him the hunger to do well for Zimbabwe.

“I was very happy when I got a call-up from the Sables technical team and any time I am ready to play for my country and having been away (from the national set-up) for this long I feel I have to give all I can.

“I am just coming from a hectic season in Scotland where we could have won the title but lost it on the final day of the league losing by a point to Ayr.

“It was so painful, believe me, because everyone thought we were going to make it, especially me, given that the previous season I had spent much of my time out of the game on injury.

“But there is nothing better than playing for your country.”

Source : The Herald

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