ZIMBABWE Rugby Union will face a tall order to convince man-of-the-moment Tapiwa Mafura to be part of the Sables team for the Rugby World Cup France 2023 qualifiers.
Mafura, who has spent most of his playing time in South Africa, has been in top form in the PRO14 and the Currie Cup across the Limpopo.
His exploits in the 2021 Currie Cup has strengthened his chances of being called-up for South Africa’s senior national team set-up and the Zimbabwe Rugby Union will keep their fingers crossed that the Hwange-born player chooses to play for the country of his birth.
The ZRU have been keeping tabs on the player and last year he was included in former coach Peter de Villiers’ provisional Sables squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers although he didn’t make the final squad due to club commitments in South Africa.
The union, who have also been affected by the current national lockdown, faces a tough task to convince the skilful backliner to play for Zimbabwe as his move to the Cheetahs in 2018 enhanced his chances of playing for the South African senior national side, the Springboks.
The Zimbabwe-born utility backliner excelled in the South Africa Schools Rugby circuit and went on to represent North West University in the Varsity Cup in which he was named in the Varsity Cup Dream Team in 2018.
In the same year, he went on to represent the Cheetahs Rugby in the PRO14 and the Currie Cup.
After that he was selected into the Sables provisional squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers.
Nicknamed “The King of Bloemfontein”, the dazzling flyhalf was born in Hwange before moving to South Africa where he attended Ermelo Christian School (Grade 3–7) and Ermelo High School in Mpumalanga.