I'd have loved to play for Zim: Chavhanga

HARARE - Record breaking Springbok Tonderai Chavhanga insists he has no regrets over playing for South Africa, but says he “would have loved” to play for his homeland Zimbabwe had “things been different.”

Masvingo-born Chavhanga, who earned four test caps for South Africa at wing, was guest of honour yesterday on the closing day of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Sevens Africa Cup played at his old school, Prince Edward.

The 30-year-old former Stormers and Lions flyer mixed and mingled with fans at PE yesterday, freely talking about his career, which has also taken him to Europe where he turned out for Welsh outfit Newport Gwent Dragons. 

The former Tigers speedster is currently contracted to Sharks, although a recurring knee injury continues to haunt his career.

“We all love our country, Brian (Mujati), Tendai (Mtawarira) and myself,” Chavhanga told the Daily News yesterday in reference to the two other Zimbabweans who in recent times have also represented South Africa.

“If things were different we would have been out there for Zimbabwe but it is what it is. We have families to look after and in things like this you have to put your family first. But hopefully things will change so that the coming generations will not be lost to the country.”

Commenting on the Sevens Africa Cup showpiece, Chavhanga said:

“It’s difficult to assess in one day, but I can see that there is a lot of talent. Our Sevens side is very talented.

“There are some really exciting guys there as well as the senior guys who are still doing well. I am sure if Zimbabwe rugby is funded a bit better, I’m sure we will get all the good talent in our schools coming through.

“I’m hearing that Mbare Academy has some great talent so it will be good for the corporates to get some money in.”

Chavhanga says he was available to assist the game in his fatherland.

“I would want to be of help to Zimbabwe rugby in terms of development I am there to help.”

Chavhanga made his international debut for the Springboks as a 21-year-old in 2005 on the right wing, in a home game against Uruguay at the Basil Kenyon Stadium in East London. The Springboks notched up a large victory, winning 134 points to three. Chavhanga scored six tries in the match and now holds the South African record for the most number of tries scored in one game.

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