Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national rugby player Hilton Mudariki makes his debut in the South African Varsity Cup when his side University of Johannesburg square off against Central University of Technology Ixias at the CUT Rugby Stadium in Bloemfontein tomorrow evening.
Mudariki, who turns out for both the Zimbabwe Cheetahs as well as the Sables in international rugby, made the switch from the Saracens Sevens side in the United Kingdom to UJ at the end of last year. Before that, he had spent one season at Amersham and Cheltern Rugby Clubs in England.
The 22-year-old scrumhalf has been chosen to start in that position for UJ against the newly promoted CUT. He said he was eagerly waiting for his first ever appearance for UJ in South Africa’s top university rugby competition.
Mudariki described the build up to the new season as one of the toughest he has ever had.
“I am starting as scrumhalf against CUT. The pre-season is probably my toughest ever but it’s really been good,’’ said Mudariki.
In fine tuning for the start of the season, UJ took on University of Cape Town, Rustenburg Impala and the Lions Rugby side.
The charismatic number nine is contracted to play for UJ while studying for a three-year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sports Psychology at the university.
His objective is to keep his starting place as scrumhalf, help UJ win the Varsity Cup and with a bit of luck earn himself a Currie Cup contract with any of the South African unions.
He will be looking to emulate another Zimbabwe born player, lock Michael Williams, a winner of the Varsity Cup with University of Pretoria in 2012 and 2013. Williams is now on the books of Worcester Warriors who play in the Greene King IPA Championship after being relegated from the Aviva Premiership, the top union rugby competition in England last season.