Mavesere makes long awaited Sharks debut

Tinotenda Mavesere in action during the Sharks' captain's run at Kings Park in Durban on Friday

Zimbabwe rugby international Tinotenda Blithe Mavesere will finally make his competitive debut for South African rugby giants Sharks after being named in their starting line-up for their Currie Cup Premier Division opener against newly-promoted Griffons in Durban on Saturday.

The match kicks off at 1330 at Kings Park.

The 24-year-old highly-rated blindside flank endured a long wait for his bow for the Durban-based side after suffering a knee ligament injury last year. The injury also ruled him out of the Sables World Cup qualification campaign.

After months of rehabilitation, Mavesere is now back to full fitness and has reportedly impressed the Sharks coaches, who rate him as a star for the future at the union.

The former Churchill High School captain has now been given his first start and will be eager to make a strong impression with the view of breaking into their Vodacom United Rugby Championship (URC) squad.

The Sables star, who is nicknamed “Driller”, is widely regarded as one of Zimbabwe’s brightest prospects in South African rugby.

After his breakthrough campaign during Zimbabwe’s debut season in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge in 2019, Mavesere went on to enjoy a memorable season with the University of Western Cape (UWC) in the 2021 Varsity Cup campaign.

His superb exploits saw him being named “Forward that Rocks” at the end of the Varsity Cup season where he also finished as runner up for the overall Player of the Tournament award.

Tinotenda Mavesere had a brilliant season with UWC in the Varsity Cup before joining the Sharks in January 2021

After his brilliant season, Mavesere attracted interest from several teams in South Africa before the Sharks, fended off competition from rival teams to sign him on a two year-deal in January, 2021.

Mavesere is part of a strong Sharks side blended with exciting youth and Vodacom United Rugby Championship experience which will kick start their bid for their first Currie Cup title in five years.

The home team, which is captained by 24-year-old inside centre Murray Koster also features a number of Vodacom URC regulars, including Koster’s centre partner Marnus Potgieter, wing Yaw Penxe, flyhalf Lionel Cronje, lock Thembelani Bholi and front rowers Carlu Sadie and Fez Mbatha.

Mavesere is part of a youthful back row alongside 22-year-old Celimpilo Gumede and former Junior Springbok Siya Ningiza.

Props Dian Bleuler and Khutha Mchunu add experience to a bench full of youth players, including scrumhalf Bradley Davids, who recently made his Vodacom URC debut.


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