Cell C Sharks Back-Rower Rikus Zwart signs with Austin Elite Rugby
ROUND ROCK (TX) – Austin Elite Rugby is thrilled to announce the signing of Rikus Zwart. The young and versatile back-rower just finished competing with The Cell C Sharks in the SuperSport Challenge. Appearing in 15 matches since the start of the tournament in April. The Sharks player was born and raised in Kimberley, Northern Cape, and for the first time is venturing overseas in order to compete in our second season of Major League Rugby.
Zwart started playing rugby at just 9 years-old at Newton Primary School. As a teen he played provincial rugby for Griquas U16 and U18, and in 2014 he was awarded “Sportsman of the Year.” He continued his passion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Zwart was called up to join The Cell C Sharks U19 squad in 2015 and later the U21 squad in both 2016 and 2017.
After his academy run with The Cell C Sharks, Zwart played briefly with Varsity College in Durban, Kwa Zulu-Natal. He then got the call-up by the South African provincial side, the Griffons in 2017, earning 4 senior-game-caps in the Currie Cup, the premier competition amongst South African provinces. Again, in 2018 he made 15 appearances with The Cell C Sharks in the SuperSport Challenge. Zwart said “I really enjoyed my time with The Sharks. I got to learn a lot getting to play with guys who’ve made their mark on the world stage – on how to be more clever on the pitch and how to improve the technical aspect of my game.”
“We are excited to bring Rikus home to Texas” Forwards Coach, Pedrie Wannenburg said. “He’s been immersed into a phenomenal professional environment with The Cell C Sharks, a really good club from South Africa – and we are excited to work on replicating that same experience with players here.”
About Austin Elite Rugby
Austin Elite Rugby is a Professional Rugby team based in Austin and Round Rock, Texas, and we are excited to bring Professional Rugby to Central Texas. As a founding member of Major League Rugby, Austin Elite Rugby’s vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the US. With the embodiment of rugby’s core values of integrity, respect, discipline, and passion; AER will help educate, inspire and connect with the community of Austin, Texas. Creating a world-class experience for players and fans to enjoy the game.
The 2019 Major League Rugby season kicks off the weekend of January 26th and will span 19 weeks with home matches being played at the iconic Dell Diamond, a 13,000-seat stadium in Round Rock / North Austin.
About Major League Rugby
MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit usmlr.com
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