HARARE – During a trip to France to visit his young brother who plays there, Zimbabwe rugby captain Hilton Mudariki hasn’t missed the opportunity to catch up with the Spingboks’ two-time World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi.

The 31-year-old Sables skipper and his mother Winnie Muchanyuka are currently in France to spend time with Farai Mudariki, who turns out for USON Nevers in the second tier division of the French professional rugby system.

Hilton Mudariki (left) with young brother Farai in Paris.

Farai, a prop, also plays for Zimbabwe’s national team and their supportive mother Winnie, affectionately known back home as the “rugby mum”, is a top business executive in the Southern African country. She is a former country manager in Zimbabwe for South African Airways and has recently resigned from her job as the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

Hilton Mudariki with mother Winnie Muchanyuka.

On Sunday in Paris, Zimbabwe’s scrumhalf and captain Hilton met and took pictures with Kolisi, who joined the Racing 92 club in the French capital after leading South Africa to a record fourth World Cup title with a famous win in the final over bitter rivals New Zealand in France.

Kolisi – the first black captain of South Africa’s world famous rugby team – is a big supporter of Zimbabwean rugby and has high regard for players from the less successful neighbouring country.

At South African team Sharks before the France move, the 32-year-old Kolisi had taken under his wing a young teammate and fellow loose forward Blithe Mavesere, who is from Zimbabwe.

At Racing 92, Kolisi also gets to team up with yet another hugely exciting Zimbabwean loose forward talent in 20-year-old Shingi Manyarara, who is also a newcomer at the Paris club.

Siya Kolisi hands over kits to Zimbabwe players Brandon Mandivenga (left) and Njabulo Ndlovu (right) ahead of the team’s last SuperSport Challenge match in 2019.

When Zimbabwe played in South Africa’s SuperSport Challenge competition in 2019, Kolisi accepted an invitation to officiate at the kit presentation ceremony before their last match in Cape Town against Eastern Province.


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