One of the flagship recruits from RC Amiénois promoted to Federal 2, Zimbabwean international three-quarter Shayne Makombe, 30, arrives from St. Denis (Fédérale 1). He explains his choice and his ambitions with his new club.
Why did you choose to join RCA?
I chose RCA because it offered the opportunity to play rugby in a team that has done well in recent seasons and shows potential for growth in the future. There are many players involved a very positive attitude and for some years I have been in contact with Joel (Nayet, the president, editor’s note) and Martin (Saleille, the head coach, editor’s note). They were always honest and consistent about why they wanted me to join the club and I havevalues honesty as a value. My fellow Zimbabweans have also praised me for the players and their joie de vivre and I want to have fun while playing. In Amiens I will too study my BJEPS (Professional certificate for youth, public education and sport, editor’s note) and it serves my ambitions well to be a professional coach in the future. Of course, the quality of life that the city offers is also a plus.
Going down a division for you who played in Federal 1 after several seasons in Compiègne (Fédérale 3), is it a problem?
As for the rules, it will change and it will it’s up to me to adjust and adapt fast and I’m trying to prepare to be ready for the first game in Le Havre (September 11, editor’s note). The level is also determined by your opponents so I can only hope we get competitive opposition in our group.
I enjoy having many balloons
What style of player are you?
I like to utilize and create space. I appreciate when we play wide and therefore have a lot of balls. I am excited the talent in our back line and I just want to use my experience to create opportunities for my teammates to be successful on and off the field.
Did the presence at RCA of 2 of your national team mates affect your arrival in Amiens?
Tapiwa (Tsomondo) and Riaan (O’Neill) definitely counted a lot in my decision because they are people I trust and they are two good people. Tapiwa’s wife, Zoe, was very helpful in helping me settle in when I arrived in Amiens, so that helps a lot as change is not easy. The other players, managers, technical staff and Baptiste Horville, the club’s administrative assistant, were all very helpful and welcoming. It has made my life a lot easier so far.
What does playing for Zimbabwe mean to you?
Playing for your country is the highest honor in sport and I am grateful to have represented Zimbabwe for over 10 years now in rugby 15s and 7s as well as tournaments like the World Cup. My family and friends are also very proud of it, so I am grateful to them.
No World Cup 2023 or maybe Olympics 2024…
Is your elimination in the qualifiers for the World Cup taking place in France in autumn 2023 a big disappointment?
Our failure in qualifying is very unfortunate given the time, effort and resources that have been invested in the qualifying journey. But that’s how sports are credit goes to Namibiait’s a good team.
Is the Olympics in 2024 a goal of your choice?
Every athlete wants to compete at the highest possible level but I don’t know if that will be possible for me because with the new Zimbabwe Rugby 7s coach you have to be locally rooted must be selected.
To return to Amiens, what are your ambitions for the season that is about to start?
I will do my best to help RCA on and off the field as the club reaches a new level. I hope I have a lot of fun practicing a sport that fascinates me and to which I have devoted my whole life. Personally, I hope that I will also complete my education and grow as a person.
Photo credit: Facebook Shayne Makombe