By Lawrence Trusida
Rising rugby star, Thabani “TJ” Maguranyanga is set to become only the second Zimbabwean to play in the French Top 14 league.
The 18-year-old broke new ground when he signed for French Top 14 club, Clermont in March this year and if he makes his anticipated debut, he will be the second Zimbabwean to play in the world’s 5th ranked league after winger Garth Ziegler turned out for Bayonne in 2010.
The utility back, who has also represented South African franchise Lions’ Under 18 was signed up to join the under 21 side and has been in the country for his off season but has had to cut short his holidays after he was called up to the senior team.
“I am going back. I had to leave the national team because my club wants me to join the senior national team in pre-season as they have earmarked me to play in the team for the upcoming season,” says Thabani.
Clermont is preparing for the European Champions cup qualifiers and have called all their internationals back.
Says TJ, “We have a lot of internationals who are playing in big countries like Japan, France and Argentina, but I am worried I believe in my talents and also the time I have been with the Under 21 helped me and for them to call me up it means they believe I can challenge.”
Meanwhile, the national rugby team, the Sables are set to tackle Burkina Faso in the second Africa Cup pool D encounter this Thursday after trouncing the West Africans 101-3 in the last encounter.