December 11, 2013

“Control, Alt, delete”…A much deserved nickname his WP team mates have given this bulky lock affectionately known as Tazz.

“His defense is brilliant and when he cleans you out at a ruck you’re likely not to remember your second name!” Peter de Villiers said recently of Fuzani.

Having made his debut in the 2013 WP squad for the Vodacom Cup, a mere five days after playing in the final Varsity Shield match, Tazz has grown from strength to strength, literally. He played in all five remaining matches in that competition and was also included in the 2013 Currie Cup squad, subsequently being named in the starting line-up for Western Province’s Round Six match against the Blue Bulls.

Jerome Paarwater, who many claim is the reason for Tazz’s reemergence commented before a match against the Bulls

 “You need a guy like Tazz against the Bulls, it’s the perfect game for him – he’s a hard man who likes the physical side of the game. He’s in great shape and he deserves this opportunity.”

Tazz’s rugby development began when he became a member of the Lagunya Rugby Football Club’s juniors’ setup where he featured at lock and had enjoyed a brief promotion to the 1st senior side, playing in the Western Province Club Rugby Premier B league. Having never played rugby or been exposed to the game at all at primary school, he was not sure what the game entailed exactly.

“ Many people would ask me if I played rugby because of my size and I always laughed and said no because it never occurred to me that I would be able to play, it just wasn’t a sport that was available to us at my primary school in Masivuke township. Eventually I thought I would go along to Lagunya rugby club with my mates and see what it was all about. “

According to one of his former club teammates, Sikhumbuzo Nothse, Tazz arrived at their first practice wearing cricket boots and looking a little bewildered. His imposing size however soon struck fear in the front row, as he took off for his first tackle, now barefoot.

Tazz recalls “ I didn’t have a clue what the rules were in rugby so I just stood there trying to absorb what was going on around me. Suddenly this guy started charging towards and I was told I had to stop him. I took off towards him at speed and elbow charged him as hard as I could. All I remember was him flying though the air and crashing to the ground backwards.”

 It was only then, when the unfortunate player was rushed off on a stretcher, that the coach realized that this was the first time that Tazz Fuzani had ever stood on a rugby field.

Soon afterwards, he was approached by the coach at HTS Hoer Skool in Bellville and became a boarder and firm member of the school team, despite not speaking a word of Afrikaans.

Tazz has faced many challenges in his life and has shown with perseverance and hard work, you can overcome anything you put your mind to.

Tazz was born on the 18th January 1991 in the town of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, a town known for having the largest car factory on the African continent. Life was certainly not easy for the youngster. His impeccable manners and respect for women comes from his time spent with his beloved grand mother who instilled strong values in him from a young age. Never one to shy away from hard work, Tazz took it upon himself to ensure the village had fresh water as often as possible. He would often be seen heading off into the mountains, plastic containers in hand, to fetch water for his grandmother and neighbours. Perhaps these arduous trips contributed to the imposing size and stature he is today.

He often flitted from his grandmother’s humble home in the Eastern Cape to his mother based in Philippi in the Western Cape, to make sure they were both looked after and protected. Learning to be so responsible at such a tender young age has ensured Tazz is not someone that will be easily swayed by peer pressure and be steered off his road to success. At 1.97 metres tall and a whopping 116 kilograms, it would be difficult to stop him even if you tried!

Allister Coetzee clearly knows what he has in Tazz:

“Tazz has played good rugby for us in the Vodacom Cup and he’s been training with us over the past few months. He’s part of our structures and he’s really worked hard – this is a great opportunity for us to see what he’s made of.

It’s a big challenge for the young man, but it’s a challenge that he’s looking forward to. He’s got a role to play, he’s a good rugby player and he brings a lot of physicality to the team – it’s the reason he’s been selected.”

So we look forward to seeing Tazz let loose in 2014 where he will continue to control, alt and delete anything that steps in his way.


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