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Rugby coach 'Hondo' resigns

by Staff Reporter
05 Jul 2021 at 06:58hrs | Views
IN what has come as a shock, Zimbabwe national men's sevens rugby coach Daniel Hondo has resigned.
ZRU confirmed that Hondo had resigned with effect from Saturday.

Graham Kaulback, who was Hondo's assistant, has now assumed head coach responsibilities while a substantive coach is being sought.

"Hondo cited personal and work commitments as the main reason for his resignation," said the ZRU.

Hondo's resignation came just two weeks after he guided the team to an impressive fifth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics Men's Rugby Sevens final qualifier held in Monaco.

The Monaco tournament was his only international assignment since being appointed Cheetahs' head coach in November last year.

As was reported by Chronicle Sport in the run-up to the qualifier, all was not well in the Cheetahs' camp.

Hondo reportedly informed players that he was ready to throw in the towel before the trip to Monaco because he did not have much say in the running of the team.

Among problems that bedevilled the Cheetahs was the axing of senior players such as skipper Stephan Hunduza.

There was a feeling among senior players that the Zambia-based Hunduza had been degraded by the unjustifiable axing ahead of a crucial assignment.

He was replaced by Body Rouse but a number of senior players withdrew from the squad in solidarity with Hunduza.

The senior players wrote a letter to the Zimbabwe Sevens technical staff, expressing their unhappiness over what they believed were unjust practices ahead of the Monaco assignment.

They complained of lack of transparency in team selection.

Zimbabwe Rugby Union media and communication manager Simbarashe Dangah refuted that there were any fissures in the national sevens rugby squad prior to the Olympics qualifier.

He even claimed the absence of senior players in the squad was because they were asked to choose between the Cheetahs and Sables.

However, backline players, Shingirai Katsvere and Martin Mangongo, who were part of the Cheetahs' squad that travelled to Monaco are also in the Sables' final team for the Rugby Africa Cup Pool D matches that were meant to take place in Tunisia from July 9-17, but have been cancelled due to rising Covid-19 cases in the North African country.

According to sources, Hondo informed the players that he was exiting all Cheetahs social media groups on Sunday.

It was the second time Hondo has taken charge of the Cheetahs since he retired from representing his country in the sevens and XVs versions of the game.

Source - Chronicle