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Legendary Springbok "Beast" retires at the top of his game


Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok legend Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The 34-year-old veteran of 117 Tests has confirmed his decision after a monumental performance in his final match, Saturday's emphatic, 32-12, victory over England in the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan.

Mtawarira made his senior provincial debut for the Cell C Sharks in 2006 and won his first Springbok cap in 2008, setting records on the way.

'Beast' became the third most-capped Springbok (behind Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana), the most capped prop, made the most appearances for a South African Vodacom Super Rugby team (159) and won the Rugby World Cup (2019), Tri-Nations (2009), Castle Lager Rugby Championship (2019), a series against the British & Irish Lions (2009) and the Currie Cup (2008, 2010 and 2013).

"I've been privileged to play this great game and achieve many career goals over the last 12 years of playing senior rugby," said Mtawarira.

"I've been blessed to have been part of teams that achieved so much success over the years, and I have many memories to cherish forever, but I can honestly say that winning the Rugby World Cup is the perfect ending and cherry on top.

Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, paid tribute to Mtawarira, who made his Springbok debut in the second Test against Wales in Pretoria in 2008, and played his last match in green and gold in Yokohama last Saturday.

"'Beast is someone who never complained, always put in the hard work and simply got on with his job in his typically unassuming way," said Alexander. "'Beast', thank you for what you've done for South African rugby, to show that Springboks can indeed be gentle giants, and for never putting your own interests above that of the team. We salute you and will miss you in green and gold."



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