US: Chicago Hounds extend back row standout Tinashe Muchena’s deal
CHICAGO: The Hounds recently announced they extended standout forward Tinashe Muchena. The back-row player is set to return to Dawg Town for the 2024 Major League Rugby season.
Muchena appeared in five games during the 2023 MLR season. He earned two starts in the last two games of the season: a win against the Utah Warriors in Week 17 and a win against the Dallas Jackals in Week 18.
Despite only seeing 229 minutes of playing time, Muchena provided a much-needed spark for the Hounds late in the year. He carried the ball 35 times and gained 181 meters (5.2 meters-per-carry). He was a defensive stalwart for the Hounds’ as well, completing 38 of his 40 tackle attempts.
Muchena’s dominance in the Week 17 performance against the Utah Warriors earned him a spot on the Major League Rugby Team of the Week.
In the Hounds’ second win of the season, the No. 8 ran for 94 meters on 12 carries (7.8 MPC). Defensively, Muchena made 10 of his 11 tackle attempts. He arrived at 14 rucks and capped the night off with two offloads on the docket as well.
Prior to Chicago, Muchena spent two seasons in the Houston Sabercats’ camp. The Zimbabwean was originally selected by the Sabercats in the second round, pick No. 15, of the 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft.
Muchena played collegiately for the Lindenwood Lions. He was a standout player for the perennial powerhouse during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The No. 8 broke out for the Lions in 2020, his first year on campus, and earned First-Team All-Mid South Conference honours. Additionally, the conference honoured him with their Forward of the Year award.
As a senior in 2021, Muchena helped lead them to a 16-2 record. His final collegiate honour was a nomination for the Rudy Scholz award, given annually to the best Men’s Collegiate Rugby Player in the country.
The No. 8 originally hails from Harare, Zimbabwe and arrived at Lindenwood via a rugby scholarship.