Teen rugby sensation makes waves

HARARE - New kid on the block Andrew Mataga is currently making headlines in the Lion Lager National Rugby League (NRL) for Harare Sports club.

Mataga is arguably one of the best locks in the league. His line out exploits and strong ball carrying abilities on the domestic scene have not gone unnoticed as it earned  him at national team call up at Under-19 level.

The 19-year-old weighs in at 92kgs and stands at 1.89 meters, which is normal at his  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 Boks loose forward, Pierre Spies.

He was born on the May 9 in 1994 in Harare.

He started playing rugby at 14 years when he enrolled at Allan Wilson High School. From there he has never looked back.

He started playing club rugby in his final year of high school in 2012 then for Old Hararians before crossing the great divide to play for Harare Sports Club.

Mataga has been able to stay loyal to the NRL when many of his peers have shunned away from the domestic scene in pursuit of greener pastures across the Limpopo or overseas.

“Well, one thing I have noticed is that the NRL in Zimbabwe is like a fraternity, the people in this league are doing something they love,” Mataga told the Daily News on Sunday.

“You see opponents sharing a drink after giving each other a hard time in the park. It’s a place where you make lifelong friends.

“For me personally it all comes down to passion. Though getting any sort of financial reward would be a bonus.”

Mataga also expressed his dream to play for the Sables in future.

“If the opportunity comes I definitely would like to play for my country again. I learnt a lot from the just ended Under-19 African Championship in Nelspruit, South Africa; how to adjust outside my comfort zone.”

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