Zimbabwe rugby international Keith Chiwara has been recognised for his stellar season in the Varsity Shield competition with the University of Fort Hare (FNB UFH Blues).
The UFH Blues utility back, who has been capped at flyhalf for the Sables was on Friday named among the 2022 FNB Varsity Shield awards nominees for the FNB Back That Rocks and the FNB Overall Player That Rocks awards.
Chiwara, 22, has been the major driving force behind the Blues’ unbeaten run in the Varsity Shield ahead of the competition final against defending the champions Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Alice on Thursday.
The seven FNB Varsity Shield head coaches all nominated three players in each category (excluding their own players), ranked from first to third place.
The votes were then collated by the tournament organisers, with first position worth three points, second position two points and third position one point.
The three players with the most points in each category are now being put forward to the public, whose votes will determine the winners.
The public can cast their votes on the Varsity Cup Facebook page and the Varsity Shield Instagram page from Friday, April 15 until 12:00 on the day of the FNB Varsity Shield final on Thursday, April 21.
The public can only vote once on Facebook and once on Instagram. The total combined votes will determine the winners in each category.
The winners will be announced after the FNB Varsity Shield final on Thursday.
The Overall Player That Rocks will receive R20,000, with the Forward and Back That Rocks each walking away with R7,500.
Chiwara was born in Harare and grew up in the Zimbabwe capital before moving to Cape Town.
He started playing rugby at Brackenfell Primary School, before proceeding to Brackenfell High School, where he helped them win their first inter-schools title in 2016 with a win against Tygerberg.
After completing his high school education, Chiwara initially moved to Durban to join the Sharks Academy before enrolling at the University of Fort Hare with the view of furthering his education while also competing in the Varsity Shield.
Chiwara, who regards Wallabies star Kurtley Beale as his biggest influence due to his versatility has earned six caps for the Sables.
He scored his first try in national colours in an international friendly match against Zambia at Harare Sports Club last year.