A new era has dawned upon the Rwandan national rugby team as they progress further in their bid to become a competitive rugby playing nation. Gilbert Simbarashe Mandiringana has recently joined the team as their first ever strength and conditioning coach, a crucial step he believes as the sport attempts to move toward professionalism.
Gilbert joins the coaching staff of head coach Claude Ezoua and assistant coach John Livingstone Muhire and believes a lot of hard work lays ahead.
“Physical preparation is the basis of any good sporting performance and I look forward to a long and successful journey with the Silverbacks.
Our goals will not be achieved overnight but will take years as we try to instil a culture of professional preparation in all our players”
Gilbert an Exercise Physiologist from South Africa believes a larger investment is needed in Rwandan rugby if they are to constantly compete with their neighbours. With rugby seen still as relatively amateur in the country, a keen eye is firmly placed on the youth.
“If rugby is to progress well in this country, we will have to have systems and structures in place to develop the game amongst the youth, this should be our main objective. We need to setup academies for our young players to specifically develop them to be competitive on the international stage”
However, for this current team it is important to start slow and build their way up the African rugby rankings. With experienced coach Claude Aime Ezoua at the helm, preparations are well under way for a competitive fixture of Rugby Africa Cup against the Ivory Coast on 23rd November ,2019 in Abidjan “My role so far is to observe and assist the coach in any way I can whilst slowly introducing the ideas of sport science to the guys. I look forward to seeing how we develop but this can only be achieved by constant support from our federation, government and sponsors. To condition an athlete to play at the highest level, it takes years of dedication coupled with the resources and facilities to make it happen”
While he believes the opening of a high-performance centre is the only way to take Rwandan rugby to the next stage, the new coach remains optimistic and excited about the future of the Silverbacks.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF).
About Rwanda Rugby:
The Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) (www.RwandaRugby.com) is responsible for all aspects of rugby in Rwanda from school level to the international Silverbacks. Our aim is to encourage the development of rugby in Rwanda and increase participation at all ages and both genders.