Mhende relishes Cheetahs return

HARARE - Zimbabwe Sevens wing, Tafadzwa Mhende, said he is as calm as he can be ahead of his long-awaited return to the Cheetahs squad since picking a near career-ending injury in Zambia six years ago.

The Harare Sports Club speedster suffered a horrendous tackle as he collided with a South African select side player before landing awkwardly.

Mhende suffered a compound fracture as he broke his tibia and fibula bones, leaving his sock only to hold his leg together.

But today, the former Kutama College and Visitation Makumbi High School student is poised for a return to the Cheetahs fold in their opening Pool B match in the Africa Cup Sevens tournament in Kenya against Uganda.

“I’m very grateful to the Almighty because a lot of guys had ruled me out . . . personally I had done the same too but it was that determination and will to play rugby that kept me going,” Mhende told the Daily News from Kenya.

“Many a time in life, we are driven to push hard towards our goals by the negativity surrounding us and try to prove to the doubters and sadists that whatever we have, whatever we do in life is controlled by God.”

The 33-year-old wing said he was not under any pressure getting into his first sevens match in six years.

“No pressure really, the team has got a lot of youngsters who have been playing well of late so I just need to play my game and hope it will blend well with the youngsters.”

Cheetahs’ coach Daniel Hondo said Mhende won his call up on merit after stellar performances in the domestic league.

“... He has been one of the most consistent players in the league over the last two seasons and his selection is purely on merit... I’m pleased to see him back playing for the Cheetahs again as he has worked really hard,” Hondo said.

Zimbabwe are in Pool B with Uganda and Mauritius while defending champions Kenya have been seeded first in Pool A with Nigeria and Senegal while Pool C comprises of Morocco, Zambia and Madagascar with the last group Pool D being made of Tunisia, Namibia and Botswana.

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