Sables rising star Gwinji makes breakthrough move to France

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Bornwell Gwinji

Bornwell Gwinji, one of the country’s brightest rugby prospects, has completed a breakthrough move in his professional career by signing for ambitious French side Stade Dijonnais Rugby.

The 25-year-old 1.84m and 118kg tighthead prop was one of the outstanding players for the Zimbabwe Goshawks squad in their maiden campaign in the Currie Cup First Division in South Africa.

After standing out with his strong scrummaging and explosive ball-carrying during the Currie Cup, Gwinji subsequently established himself as a key player in the Sables squad.

The hardworking front rower earned praises from Springbok legend Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, who singled him out as one of the country’s outstanding players during the recent Rugby Africa Cup in France.

Although he was unable to help the national fifteens rugby side secure qualification for the 2023 Rugby World Cup during the continental qualifiers, his consistent individual performances caught the eye of Stade Dijonnais, who have secured his services ahead of the new season.

Stade Dijonnais Côte D’Or, commonly known also as “Dijon” compete in Nationale (the third level of French rugby union system, below the Pro D2 and the Top 14.

Bornwell Gwinji, second from left, sings the national anthem before the Sables’ match against Netherlands recently

Dijon confirmed Gwinji’s arrival at the club in a statement on their website on Friday.

“Our international settled down at the beginning of the week in Dijon! We are very happy to welcome in the ranks of Dijon, our new right pillar, Bornwell Gwinji,” the club said.

The club’s head coach Thomas Kohler said Gwinji would be a valuable addition to his squad due to his experience.

“Bornwell is a young pillar who already has experience at the top level in the South African championship and in the selection of Zimbabwe with which he played the Africa Cup this summer in Aix-en-Provence. Explosive and active on the field, Bornwell will bring us all his power in the game and the conquest phases “.

Gwinji, who was born and bred in Bulawayo’s high density of suburb of Nkulumane and attended Hamilton High School in the country’s second largest city.

Locally he initially played for Bulawayo side Bulldogs and Matabeleland Warriors while he made his Sables debut three years ago in the Victoria Cup.

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