Mukidza retires from Kenya Simba, shifts focus to family
KCB RFC utility Darwin Mukidza (pictured) has called time on his glittering career spanning a decade, with the national team kicking off its preparations for the 2023 season.
Mukidza through his social media accounts expressed his gratitude to his former teammates, coaches, and teams that gave him the platform to showcase his talent not only locally but globally.
Mukidza bows out as one of the most decorated players in the rugby scene, especially in the longer version of the game where the utility back thrived before being handed the Captaincy armband. Mukidza would also go on to be the Simbas all-time point and try scorer and the second-highest capped player in the national team.
“As I call it a day on what has been an international career beyond my wildest dreams, I will dearly hold on to every moment and every memory I have made. I leave the Simbas as the top point and try scorer, the second highest capped player and a captain,” a long appreciation post by Mukidza read in part.
Mukidza made his debut against Portugal back in 2015, going on to feature 47 times while donning the national team colours whereby he also earned a few call-ups to the sevens team, Shujaa.
While reflecting on his glittering career, Mukidza said he could not have imagined the great milestones he has achieved would be brought about by the great love of rugby.
“If you had told that young Darwin Mukidza, that he would go on to become ‘the smiling assassin,’ and not only play this game at the highest level but also represent his country across the globe, he would have definitely laughed out very loudly, in disbelief,” Mukidza added.
Despite not helping the Kenya Simbas squad to qualify for its first rugby World Cup, Mukidza believes the current crop of players have what it takes to steer the national team to its first global show-piece.
As I sign out, the dream is still alive, we will be playing at a Rugby World Cup in this lifetime, I believe that this new crop of players making it to the Simbas squad have what it takes to take us there, and with Jerome back at the helm, we might be closer than we think,” he added.
Mukidza further noted he will now shift his focus to his family and club life where he plies his trade with KCB RFC.
His retirement comes at a time when Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) have reappointed South African tactician Jerome Paarwater as the head coach of the fifteens side ahead of the 2023 season.
Paawater and his team have already summoned a team of 100 players who will be shortlisted to the final squad that will kick-start its preparations ahead of the assignments.