HARARE – Brendan Dawson has retained his job as Zimbabwe’s rugby coach despite failing to guide the country to its first World Cup since 1991.

55-year-old Dawson last year vowed to take the Sables back to the tournament, where Zimbabwe was the only African side in the first two editions of the World Cup in 1987 and 1991.

Dawson – who featured in the 1991 tournament and later captained the country – told guests at an event in 2021 that not only would he lead the Sables back to the World Cup, but Zimbabwe would be “a team that will be threatening others teams” in the tournament.

But Zimbabwe have to wait for much longer to qualify after losing to Namibia in the semi-finals of a qualification tournament in France in July.

The Namibians, who have monopolised Africa’s single qualification slot since 1999, beat Kenya in the final to seal a place at the Webb Ellis Cup in France next year.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) announced the decision to keep Dawson in a short statement on Wednesday.

“A technical review was held with Mr Brendan Dawson on the 3rd of August 2022 following the end of the 2023 RWC campaign,” it read.

“Recommendations from the technical committee and EXCO (executive committee) are that Mr Dawson’s services shall be retained until his contract lapses in October 2023.”

Dawson is in his second tenure as Sables coach, having also presided over failure to qualify for the 2015 World Cup in England.


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