Austin Elite Rugby signed South African Rikus Zwart for the 2019 major League Rugby season. The 22-year-old, 6’4″, 256 pound back row is from Kimberly, Northern Cape, South Africa and began playing rugby when he was nine at Newton Primary School. He then went to Hoërskool Noord-Kaap and the University of Kwa Zula-Natal.
Rikus played provincial rugby with the Griquas Under-16s and Under-18s. In 2014 he was named Sportsman of the Year.
He then progressed through the Cell C Sharks age-grade system playing lock and flanker with the Under-19s in 2015 and the Under-21s from 2016 to 2017.
In 2017 he also played for Varsity College in Durban and for the South African provincial side, the Griffins, in the Currie Cup. In 2018 he made 15 appearances for the Cell C Sharks in the
Rikus is ready for a new challenge and will be playing with Austin Elite Rugby for their second major League Rugby season in 2019.
Austin Elite Rugby Comments
“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.”
Rikus Zwart Comments
Rikus described some of his best rugby memories .saying that “I will always remember playing with guys from the Sharks that you have seen playing on the tv growing up. In our U19 year in 2015, we got the opportunity to train against the Springbok rugby team for 5 weeks so that was also a good experience getting to learn from them. This year in the SuperSport Challenge we had a good bunch of guys making the tournament very enjoyable.”
“The transition will be a lot easier with Pedrie being the coach, it is a good opportunity to learn new things from him, I’m very excited. I am certainly lucky to have this opportunity to be apart of Austin Elite. I always wanted to visit Texas and now I have the opportunity to play rugby here. Major League Rugby, in general, is growing and Austin has been a part of the semifinals of 2018 so I believe there are good things to come.”
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