KENNEDY Tsimba, the famous Zimbabwean-born rugby star, may return to represent his country of birth at the Sevens World Cup in Dubai in March.
Discussions are currently underway to include the talismanic South Africa-based flyhalf in the Zimbabwe touring party for the World Cup.
Tsimba’s inclusion will ease coach Liam Middleton’s playmaker woes as regular Willis Magasa is battling a shoulder injury.
Tsimba became Zimbabwe’s first black rugby captain when he took over from Brendan Dawson in 1999. His elder brother, the late Richard Tsimba who played for Zimbabwe in two World Cups in 1987 and 1991, was the country’s first black rugby international.
Kennedy cut short his international career when he left the country to play professional rugby for English premiership side Bath. He had previously played Sevens for Zimbabwe in international tournaments before the UK sojourn.
He however came to prominence when he moved to South Africa where, at his peak, he was simply the best flyhalf in world rugby. Citizenship complications prevented him from playing for South Africa.
He played Super 12 rugby for both the Cats and Bulls, producing many stellar performances. The dazzling flyhalf, known for his mesmerising kicking and vision, played his best rugby for the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs, breaking a Free State record for the most points scored in a season (228), a feat which earned him the Currie Cup Player of the Year award in 2002. Â
“The King of Bloemfontein” – as he was affectionately known – accumulated over 1 000 points during a five year tenure at the franchise.
At 34, he has shown no sign of slowing down at Griffons, where he is winding up his career.
Meanwhile, a 16-men Cheetahs squad will camp at a “secret place” for three days from January 16 to 18, says manager Bruce Hobson.
BY ENOCH MUCHINJO