Mavesere stars in Varsity Cup



RISING Zimbabwe rugby star Tinotenda Mavesere is quickly establishing himself as one of the country’s brightest rugby prospects in neighbouring South Africa after his brilliant individual display for the University of Western Cape (UWC) in the Varsity Cup competition in Pretoria on Sunday.

The 23-year-old dynamic loose forward stood out with a hat-trick of tries as UWC ended their week with a 47-40 win over the Nelson Mandela University to register their first win of the season.

Mavesere’s first try was the best of the bunch as he received the ball from a lineout and beat four defenders on his way to the try line in the 16th minute.

The Zimbabwe international, who is nicknamed “Driller”, because of his explosiveness and abrasive style of play, added two more tries in the 31st and 35th minutes.

His match-winning performance earned him the FNB Player that Rocks accolade for the match and took home R1 500.

Mavesere, who has represented his country in both the fifteens and sevens formats of the game, started for UWC at flank alongside national team teammate Godfrey Muzanargwo, who was also among the loose forwards.

The duo made their Varsity Cup debut for the UWC in February last year, but the season could not be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in sporting activities around the world being suspended.

Despite the lengthy spell on the sidelines, Mavesere appears on course to follow the same path as many top rugby players in South Africa who have used the Varsity Cup as a stepping stone to the professional ranks.

A product of the Churchill High School-based Pitbulls RFC side, Mavesere was an integral part of the Sables side which clinched the Victoria Cup in 2019.

Earlier that season he also starred for Zimbabwe Academy in their maiden season in the SuperSport Challenge in South Africa.

After a dream debut season for the Sables, Mavesere was offered a bursary to study and play rugby at the UWC by the late World Cup-winning South Africa wing Chester Williams, who was director of sport at the university.

However, the deal, facilitated by former Springboks wing and Sables assistant coach Tonderai Chavhanga, almost fell through when Williams had a heart attack in September 2019.

The former Churchill High School pupil is now under the tutelage of former Springboks sevens rugby team coach, Paul Treu, who is now the coach of the UWC.

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