ZIMBABWEAN utility back Garth Ziegler has been signed by top Italian rugby club Venezia Mestre Rugby Club.
The Venice-based club plays in the Italian Super 10, the countryâ€™s premier rugby league. They were Serie A champions in 2005 and 2007.
â€œItâ€™s exciting,â€ said Ziegler, who is set to fly out of Harare on Sunday. â€œItâ€™s a good opportunity to settle into the European club scene. Italian rugby is definitely on the rise. They are getting a lot of foreign players from South Africa, Australia, Argentina and other countries. There is a lot of money getting into the club scene and the league is getting a lot more competitive.â€
There has been an increased influx of foreign players into the French and Italian rugby leagues in recent years mainly due to the lure of the Euro.
The 22-year-old Ziegler, a former St Johns College student in Harare, was previously based at the academy of Australiaâ€™s Super 14 franchise, Western Force. He plays wing, outside centre or fullback.
Ziegler does not have full colours for Zimbabwe, but played for the countryâ€™s second-string Sevens side in the Potchesfroom Sevens tournament in South Africa two weeks ago.
By Enock MuchinjoÂ