HARARE – Zimbabwean rugby ace Tinotenda Mavesere has been tipped to make waves in the game after he was named in Sharks’ squad alongside some of South Africa’s best players who include Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and four other World Cup winners.

The 23-year-old loose-forward, who hails from Zimbabwe’s small mining town of Kadoma, was included by Sharks in a 50-man squad for the upcoming 2022-23 United Rugby Championship season, despite still nursing an injury.

The United Rugby Championship is a rugby union competition involving teams from South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – following the demise of the Super Rugby competition.

Apart from Kolisi – Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Thomas du Toit, Eben Etzebeth and Bongi Mbonambi – are the other Springboks who were part of the squad that defeated England in Japan in 2019 to clinch South Africa’s third World Cup title.

“It’s a great opportunity for the lad,” Phiwe Nomlomo, Sharks’ skills coach, told SportsCast on Friday.

Nomlomo, South Africa’s most prominent black rugby coach at the moment, rates the Zimbabwe international highly.

“Tino is gifted and that’s why he was signed by the Sharks,” he said. “There is something that we saw and loved about him. He is a team player. He is physical, athletic. You know, it’s a pity that he suffered an injury but we are looking forward to him coming back and of course it’s a great opportunity for anyone to play in the URC, it’s a global game. We look forward to him flourishing, to be honest.”

Piet Benade, one of the Zimbabwe national team’s assistant coaches, also heaped praise on Mavesere, who impressed Sharks scouts after a scintillating season for the University of Western Cape in the Varsity Cup.

“He is still only 23 so he has a bright future ahead of him,” Benade said.

“His athleticism and speed are his strengths and in a strong side he can really. UWC were not one of the more successful sides in the Varsity Cup and he was still able to stand out. This says a lot about his quality.”


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