HomeSportScots Add Their Own Zim Flavour

Scots Add Their Own Zim Flavour

SOUTH Africa’s two Zimbabwean imports, Tendai Mtawarira and Brian Mujati, will encounter an older ‘brother’ when they face Scotland in a one-off Test in Edinburgh tomorrow.

Scottish flank Scott Gray was, just like Mtawarira and Mujati, a boarder at the famous Peterhouse College in Marondera, near Harare.
However, he was their senior at school by several years – six years in the case of Mujati and seven for Mtawarira.
In fact there will be four Zimbabwe-born players on display at Murrayfield – two in each side – with the exception that one of Scotland’s Zim imports is a bit more mature.
Scottish wing Thom Evans may have been schooled at Winchester in England, but he was born in Zimbabwe the same year as Mtawarira – 1985.
Gray and Mujati will play off the bench, while Mtawarira and Evans are both in their respective starting XVs.
Gray, who was last week welcomed back from the international wilderness when Scottish coach Frank Hadden stuck to his pledge to reward the flank if he became a more consistent performer, is relishing the opportunity to go up against his two Peterhouse ‘brothers’.
Having starred for Northampton this season, his ability to cover the whole back row won him the bench spot and he replaced Jason White in the second half against New Zealand last week to earn his second cap, four years after his first.
“It was great to be back involved last week and it’s a great opportunity for me to play, hopefully, against South Africa,” Grey told The Scotsman newspaper.
“The ‘Beast’ (Mtawarira) is a few years younger than me, so I’d left by the time he and Brian (Mujati) had started, but I knew they were at the Sharks and doing well.
“I have kept in touch with coaches and teachers back home. It was a very good school and I had a real personal touch with them, and I’ve just had a baby girl and, depending on the (political) situation of course, I’m even thinking about maybe taking her back there to have the kind of upbringing I had.
“The top level of rugby (n Zimbabwe) has fallen away. Zimbabwe played in the 1991 World Cup — against Scotland — and when I first left school they still had a national team, though it was struggling.
“It wasn’t a blacks-whites issue — we had about 50-50 split at the school — but a large part of the rugby community out of school was farmers. Because rugby is seen as a tough sport it appealed more to farmers than people in the cities, so with a lot of farmers leaving it’s fallen away. That was why I left — for the opportunity to play sport.
“I got offered the chance to go to Stellenbosch University in South Africa, but playing South African schools quite a lot, and getting beaten regularly, I found them to be quite arrogant and I didn’t want to go there.”
Instead, through a friend of his Barrhead-born father, Don, the teenager was offered an opportunity in Australia, with a Canberra club and he rose through the ranks to join the Brumbies academy and land a full-time training contract under Eddie Jones. —

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