BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ENGLAND-BASED Zimbabwe rugby international Farai Mudariki (pictured left) has expressed his frustration at his failure to make a mark at Worcester Warriors as he seeks a quick return to the top tier of English rugby after parting ways with the Gallagher Premiership side last week.
Mudariki left Worcester Warriors to end a disappointing two-year spell in which his progress was hampered by injury problems.
The 25-year-old tighthead prop arrived at Sixways in July 2018 from French club Tarbes on the recommendation of former Warriors lock James Percival.
Mudariki had previously spent two years on the academy roster of French Top 14 club Olympique Castres and was strongly tipped to make a big impression in England’s topflight rugby union competition.
The former Michaelhouse student initially bided his time in the Warriors’ second team, Worcester Cavaliers, as he gelled well in the team in the second tier Premiership Shield competition.
Although Mudariki played just two games for Warriors during the 2019 season, both in the pool stages of the Premiership Cup, he still did enough to secure a new one-year contract in January.
And just when he looked well poised to make his top-flight league debut, his progress was halted by injury and subsequently the impact of the coronavirus on the sport in England and specifically on Worcester Warriors.
The 2019-2020 Gallagher Premiership was initially shelved for five weeks in mid-March before being indefinitely suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the season later resumed in August after a five-month break, the lost time meant Mudariki missed out on an opportunity to warrant a contract renewal.
Speaking publicly for the first time following the confirmation that he would be leaving Worcester, Mudariki said he was grateful for the support he received during his time at the club and his only regret was his failure to “make a mark and give back to the club on the field”.
“Since I joined Worcester Warriors in what was a big move for not only myself but my family and friends, my intention has been to make a mark and give back to the club on the field. I have been unable to do that which comes with frustration and disappointment,” Mudariki said on Twitter.
“Although I had envisioned better, I have to thank Worcester for the two years I spent at the club and also a big thanks to all the coaching staff, medical staff and especially my teammates. The support that has been given to me behind the scenes during Covid-19 shows you what the club is about and I wish everyone at the club the best for the future.”
Mudariki, who is now fit and awaiting his next move, is reportedly on the radar of several top clubs in Europe but is eager to remain in England.
He is also exploring the possibility of featuring in the Pro14 after South African franchises were recently linked with a move to join the annual rugby union competition which involves professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
Mudariki is a key member of the Sables side and is expected to play a pivotal role is Zimbabwe’s bid to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.