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KCB star Mukidza retires from international rugby



KCB star Mukidza retires from international rugby

KCB Rugby Club winger cum fullback Darwin Mukidza has retired from international rugby.

The 35-year-old Mukidza, who has played for Kenya Simba for eight years, having made his debut against Portugal in 2015 in Nairobi, announced his retirement on his official Facebook page.

Fondly known as the smiling assassin, Mukidza’s last assignment with Kenya Simbas was during the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualification tournament in November, last year in Dubai.

Mukidza noted that as he calls it a day on what he described as an international career beyond his wildest dreams, he will hold on to every moment and memory he made.

“Eight years since I first had the honour of representing Kenya and got to experience the feeling of singing out the national anthem at a parked RFUEA grounds, before taking on Portugal in 2015,” said Mukidza, adding that he will forever cherish every time he put on Simbas’ jersey.

“There were moments I would not trade for anything else in this world. It is an experience that I would love to have, for as long as is humanly possible,” said Mukidza “It is time to call it a day on my international career and allow the next generation of players to take us to a Rugby World Cup.”

Mukidza noted that he leaves Kenya Simbas with his head high as the top point and try scorer, and the second highest capped player, with 47 international caps.

Mukidza said he could not have achieved all these accolades by himself, adding that his international career has been a collective effort from people across the board.

Mukidza, who played for Mombasa Rugby Football Club, Mwamba Rugby Club and KCB Rugby, thanked God for his talent, good health and opportunity.

“I want to thank my family and my parents for supporting and praying for me, and special thanks to my mother who bought me my first pair of boots, and my wife and children, who endured my absence as I chased this oval ball,” said Mukidza, who started playing rugby 19 years ago at Utafiti Primary School in Kericho.

“I didn’t know that this ball would literally change my life. If you told me that I 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, I would have definitely laughed out,” said Mukidza.

Mukidza paid tribute to former Kenya Simbas coaches Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno, Ian Snook, Paul Odera, and Jerome Paarwater, who has been reappointed the head coach, and former Kenya Sevens coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu.

Mukidza’s retirement comes a few months after international Collins Injera and William Ambaka also called it quits on their international career.

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