Zim schoolboy shines in SA

HARARE - Zimbabwe Under-19 wing Lloyd Mudzvova is on a scoring spree for Dale College in South Africa and on the verge of setting a new record for his school.

Mudzvova has been on a rampage in the Eastern Cape schools rugby league, scoring 11 tries from 14 games.

The school record stands at 25 tries in one season which was set in 1995 by Terry Knickelbine. With eight games left before the curtain comes down, the Zimbabwean speed merchant believes the record is still within reach.

As first team vice-captain, Madzova is one of the three players retained from Dale’s successful 2012 team, which finished ninth on the South African schools ranking.

Mudzvova weighs in at 77 kgs and standing at 1.75 metre, which is normal at schoolboy level although further strengthening and conditioning will need to be done on him if he is to match up with the fitness standards of his role model Brian Habana.

The youngster was born on February 22 in 1994. He only started playing rugby at 15, turning out for the Churchill puppies, where he was encouraged by then coach Victor Pekani to trade the sphere shape ball for the oval one.

“I actually regret playing soccer, it made me hate my rugby at some point before I started playing it. Thanks to coach Pekani who was very supportive and taught me the basics, I fell in love with the sport more.”

The speedster’s success story continued in 2011 when he broke into the Churchill first team, which was pretty rampant that year and were the best side in the country. Thanks in a main to their competent backline that he can proudly attribute to his South African success.

His exploits on the domestic front earned him a full bursary at the King William’s Town, which is famous for its rugby nursery which has produced household name such as Springbok wing Bjorn Basson and Sharks captain Keegan Daniel.

“We (Zimbabwe and South Africa) both have talent but here in South Africa they are more serious about the game. In Zimbabwe, some were forced to play the game, if my memory serves me right, at Churchill we failed to come up with a second team yet a thousand boys attend the school.”

Mudzvova had to be pulled out of Zimbabwe’s Under-19 African championships squad at the eleventh hour due to injury. He is currently in Nsikelelo Sibanda’s provisional squad for this years’ tournament set for Nelspruit, South Africa, in August.

“I hope I can make the final squad and help my country qualify for next year’s Junior World rugby Trophy,” he said. - Brian Matamba

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