ZIMBABWE rugby international, Tapiwa Tsomondo was on Tuesday recognised for a stellar season in South Africa after being named Western Province Rugby Football Union’s (WPRFU) Club Rugby Player of the Year at a ceremony held in Cape Town.
The 24 year-old versatile loose forward was recognised for his exploits at the Cape Town-based club False Bay RFC, who last season won the coveted Western Province Super League A title for the first time in over 40 years.
False Bay also went on to reach the finals of the inaugural Gold Cup, where they lost 48-24 to Rustenburg Impala.
Tsomondo’s recognition came three days after he helped the national Sevens rugby side qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament to be held in San Francisco, USA.
The biggest winner during the WPRFU Awards evening was Stormers versatile back, Dillyn Leyds, who came back from injury this year to star for his team in three different positions, before going on to make his Springboks debut.
Leyds was named the Most Valuable Player, Senior Player of the Year, as well as claiming the Composure and Capability Award.
The other senior awards saw Stormers captain, Siya Kolisi take the Above and Beyond Award, while lock JD Schickerling walked away with the coveted Players’ Player of the year award.
However, it is the continued rise of Tsomondo in South African rugby circles, since moving south of the Limpopo six years ago, which could excite Zimbabwe rugby followers.
A product of Prince Edward School, Tsomondo moved to South Africa in 2011 after being offered a rugby bursary at Dale College Boys’ High School in King William’s Town, South Africa.
He would become an instant success, helping the Eastern Cape-based school to a successful season, in which they finished in the top 10 of South Africa’s Schools rankings.
Tsomondo’s individual performances attracted the interest from former Super Rugby franchise, EP Kings, while the Durban-based Sharks offered him a place at their prestigious academy.
After a stint at the Sharks Academy, Tsomondo was snapped up by Western Province, where he was part of the squad, which reached the 2015 Vodacom Cup final before joining the Bulls at the start of the 2016 season.
Tsomondo, who moved to Cape Town at the start of the year, has been recently linked with a big money move to France.