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Sam Phiri poised for Lions move

by Staff reporter
14 Jun 2020 at 10:14hrs | Views
FORMER Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby team captain Sam Phiri is closing in on a big move to the Johannesburg-based South African rugby union franchise Lions after announcing his departure from the Cape Town-based Western Province on Saturday.

A product of Falcon College in Esigodini, Phiri has been part of the Western Province set-up for the last four years after initially joining the Western Province Rugby Academy (WPRA), where he showed enough potential to be offered a contract at the Western Province Rugby Institute in 2017.

The 21-year-old powerfully-built wing was part of the Western Province Under-21 side in the Under-21 Currie Cup competition last season as he looked on course to graduate to the senior side and ultimately the province's Super Rugby franchise Stormers.

Confirming his departure, Phiri, who also had a stint with University of Cape Town, said he was relishing a new challenge in Johannesburg where his representatives are negotiating a move to join the Lions' Currie Cup side.

"And that's a wrap! It's been absolutely amazing the past few years in Cape Town and sad to be leaving, but excited for whats next. Thanks to every coach, teammates, friends and family who have made it a memorable time here, I will definitely miss it all. Finally to the staff, coaches and players at DHL Stormers, thank you for the friendship and support over the past few years, it's been second to none. Cheers for now and JHB (Johannesburg) here I come," Phiri said in a post on his Instagram page.

A powerfully-built young player blessed with good hands, deft touch, explosive pace and renowned finishing prowess, Phiri, who also excelled as a cricketer at Falcon, made tremendous progress during his time in the Western Cape.

The Western Province Rugby Institute, situated in Stellenbosch, is a top-class facility that has in recent years consistently produced quality young players, who have gone on to play Super Rugby for a number of franchises in South Africa, most notably, Stormers.

The first Springbok to come out of the institute was Stormers inside centre Juan de Jongh, while 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth are also graduates of the top-level rugby programme.

Phiri was part of the Zimbabwe side which made its debut in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge last season, where he featured in the side's last three matches.

Source - The Standard