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HAVING missed training on Monday at Locomotive Stadium in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, South Africa-based fly-half Guy Cronje was back on the field with the Sables yesterday after a remarkable improvement on his injured knee. Zimbabwe coach Brendan Dawson told The Herald yesterday that Cronje was back in training as they prepare for their World Cup play-off qualifier against Russia in Siberia.

On Monday, team manager Brighton Chivandire told the media that Cronje sat out of training as he was receiving medical attention from physiotherapist Sharon Mkumbuzi due to a knock on the knee but was, however, involved in the gym session.

“It was nothing serious and he trained today (yesterday) with the backline in attack drills but we are just being cautious and he is not involved in contact at the moment so he did not do the contact drills to give his injury a bit longer to heal,” said Dawson.

“Yes, he trained in the gym this (yesterday) morning and will train again in the afternoon.

“Our training sessions have been special because the players are really focused, training is going on well because our concentration levels are high. “We are having light training sessions in the morning and more intensive sessions in the afternoon and I am happy with how things are going at the moment.

“The weather is great for us so far.”

Having trained for the last three days, two of them being intense sessions, the Sables will have a rest day today before another field session tomorrow with their preparations set to be rounded off with a captain’s run on Friday.

“In the Russian team there are great guys, but we have had experience in competitive games against Kenya and Namibia. We came here to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. Our team is very anxious to go to the World Cup.

“We have some good hitters, and good quarter. And, most importantly, we have well established interaction between them. We will try to deliver the ball out to the wingers, and use our speed,” said Dawson.

While Cronje’s recovery is good news, the same cannot be said for the Russians who will be missing the services of two of their top players.

Vladimir Ostroushko was ruled out of The Bears squad owing to injury while Kirill Kulemin opted out due to family commitments.

Russia coach San Rafael Andre said they were yet to name their final squad.

“Maxim Kiselev, Alexander Khudiakov, Andrew Otrokov, Eugene Pronenko, and Ilya Dyomushkin have been dropped from the side and we will drop three others to remain with 23 players for the game,” Andre told the media.

Sables squad

Forwards: Pieter Joubert, Keith Murray, Kevin Nqindi, Jan Ferreira, Graeme Lawler, Jacques Leitao, Lambert Groenewald, Lawrence Cleminson, Sanele Sibanda, Matthew Mandioma, Farai Mudariki, Fortune Chipendu, Kingsley Lang, Takunda Chifokoyo.

Backs: Daniel Hondo (captain), Hilton Mudariki, Guy Cronje, Stephan Hunduza, Riaan O’Neill, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Peter Du Toit, Lenience Tambwera, Shayne Makombe, Danny Robertson

Coach: Brendan Dawson

Assistant: Cyprian Mandenge

Manager: Brighton Chivandire

Physio: Sharon Mkumbudzi

Source : The Herald

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