The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
AS an indication that Zimbabwean sporting talent is all over the world, former Zimbabwe junior rugby team player, Eli Snyman on Saturday won the Gallagher Premiership championship, the highest honour in England professional club rugby with the Leicester Tigers.
The 26-year old Snyman, a lock forward has been on the books of the Tigers since last year and has played over 20 matches for the recently crowned English rugby champions. While he was not in the match day squad for the final, won 15-12 by the Tigers over the Saracens at Twickenham Stadium, Snyman was a vital member of the team during the team during the just ended season and got to hold the trophy at the end of it all.
Before their narrow win on Saturday, the Tigers had been crowned champions in 2013.
Snyman, who was educated at Saint John’s College in Harare was one of Stephen Bhasera’s vice-captains for the Old Mutual Zimbabwe Junior Sables at the 2014 Under-18 Craven Week in Middelburg, South Africa.
From there, the lock headed off to the Blue Bulls where he spent some years prior to joining Italian club Benetton Treviso before he joined the Tigers ahead of the start of the 2021/22 season.
Snyman represented South Africa at the 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Championship tournament held in Manchester, England. He started all five of the matches for the Baby Boks in the competition. He is yet to represent South Africa at the senior level, which means he can still represent Zimbabwe should they qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.
Snyman is the second Zimbabwe born to turn out for the Leicester Tigers after Michael Williams, a Bulawayo lad played 80 times for the recently crowned champions.
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