Former Zimbabwe youth rugby international Eli Snyman capped off a memorable season after winning the English Premiership title with Leicester Tigers following their 15-12 victory over Saracens in Saturday’s final at Twickenham.
Snyman was not in the matchday squad for the crucial encounter but the former Zimbabwe Under-18 vice-captain was a vital team member during the just-ended season.
The 26-year-old Harare-born lock made over 20 appearances for the newly crowned English champions as he established himself as a key member of head coach Steve Borthwick’s side since joining from Italian side Benetton Rugby in March last year.
Snyman, who was educated at Saint John’s College in Harare has been on a steady rise since his move to South Africa seven years ago.
He initially rise through the ranks at the Bulls to establish himself as one of the Pretoria franchise’s rising stars before making the move to Europe first in Italy before moving to England.
Snyman was vice-captain of the Zimbabwe Under-18 squad which took part at the 2014 edition of the Craven Week in Middelburg, South Africa.
His performances during the week-long annual event attracted the attention of the Bulls franchise, who awarded him a scholarship to study and play rugby at the University of Pretoria.
Snyman was named vice-captain of the Pretoria-based franchise’s Under-19 side in his debut season before being named the 2015 Blue Bulls Under-19 Forward of the Year at the club’s end-of-year awards at Loftus in Pretoria.
The talented player turned down a call-up to the Zimbabwe Under-20 side before being selected for South Africa’s Under-20 squad for the 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Championship held in Manchester, England, where he featured in all their matches.
Snyman was recently approached by the Sables technical team, who wanted him to feature for Zimbabwe during next month’s 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers in France.
Although Snyman could have featured for the Sables without any effects on his contract at Leicester Tigers, as he does not fall under the EQP (England Qualified Player) category he turned down the callup to the Zimbabwe squad.