Rudy Scholz Award Watchlist: Tinashe Muchena

Rudy Scholz Award Watchlist: Tinashe Muchena

Lindenwood No. 8 Tinashe Muchena is a force in the back row, and will be a driving factor in the Lions' success down the stretch.

Mar 4, 2020 by Alex Rees
Rudy Scholz Award Watchlist: Tinashe Muchena

While a fair few D1A teams ran through the majority of their schedule in the fall, including teams in the Rugby East, the Big Ten, and the Liberty conferences, springtime is when the competition really heats up. 

At the culmination of the spring campaign, another champion will be crowned, with Life University seeking an unprecedented D1A three-peat. 

In addition to that, the collegiate rugby rendition of the Heisman Trophy will also be awarded to the most outstanding male player of the year.

The award, named after the great Rudy Scholz, was created in 2016 by Alex Goff of Goff Rugby Report and the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle. 

Previous winners of the award have been USA Eagles Dylan Audsley, Bryce Campbell, and Harley Wheeler, and US Naval Officer Connor McNerney. 

Here we continue with another player we think is a strong candidate for the award:

Tinashe Muchena | No. 8 - Lindenwood

Lindenwood back row ace Tinashe Muchena has been an uncovered gem this season. The former Lindenwood-Belleville man transferred to the Lions after last season, and has been one of the key drivers to Lindenwood's prowess this year. 

When he arrived in St. Charles, Muchena had some massive shoes to fill in the back row, which featured perennial All-Americans Wesley White and Michael de Waal over the past four years. But the big man from Zimbabwe has stepped up to the plate and delivered in a big way, making up for the loss of some big time players. 

Despite his huge frame, Tinashe has excellent footwork and balance, allowing him to fight through contact and take advantage of arm tackles and soft shoulders. Additionally, his experience as a key member of the Lindenwood-Belleville 7s side that won the D1AA national title in 2019 has seen him develop an adept passing game and awareness of space. 

As Lindenwood move forward and gear up for a run to the national title in both 15s and 7s, Muchena will be an integral ingredient to his team's fortunes.