HARARE – Zimbabwe will miss Aiden Burnett for Wednesday’s epic World Cup qualifier against old foes Namibia in France after the star loose-forward was suspended for one match due to a red-card he picked up in the quarter-final tie against Ivory Coast on Friday.

24-year-old Burnett was involved in an ugly on-field brawl after coming in as a second half substitute at eighth-man, scoring a try in the Sables’ hard-fought 38-11 win over the Ivorians.

Zimbabwe has made four changes to the side that started on Friday, all in the forwards pack. Brendan Dawson and his technical staff have changed the entire front-row. Experienced hooker Matthew Mandioma plays between loose-head prop Tyran Fagan and tight-head Cleopas Kundiona, who all came off the bench against Ivory Coast.

Tapiwa Tsomondo (pictured) starts at open-side flank in place of Kelvin Kanenungo, who drops down to the bench. France-based Tsomondo is playing in the qualifiers for the first time.

Centre Riaan O’Neill is not yet fit to play.

Zimbabwe need to play the game of their lives if they are to upset a clinical Namibian side who are favourites to clinch Africa’s sole qualification World Cup ticket.

The Namibians, who have dominated that slot since the 1999 World Cup, last lost to Zimbabwe back in 2001.


Starting line-up: 1 – Tyran Fagan 2 – Matthew Mandioma 3 – Cleopas Kundiona 4 – Sean Beevor 5 – Godfrey Muzanargwo 6 – Jason Fraser 7 – Tapiwa Tsomondo 8 – Nyasha Tarusenga 9 – Hilton Mudariki (captain) 10 – Marcus Nel 11 – Shingi Katsvere 12 – Takudzwa Chieza 13 – Matthew McNab 14 – Shayne Makombe.

Subs: 16 – Liam Larkan 17 – Victor Mupunga 18 – Bornwell Gwinji 19 – Godwin Mangenje 20 – Kelvin Kanenungo 21 – Kyle Galloway 22 – Takudzwa Musingwini 23 – Ngoni Chibuwe.


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