VIDEO: Beast reveals his new Sharks role
IN CONVERSATION WITH TENDAI MTAWARIRA: The Sharks will be able to rely on the expertise of a true legend to bring the next batch of front row forwards through.
Mtawarira, speaking to historian and author Dean Allen – as part of a hugely popular weekly fund-raising effort for the Chris Burger and Petro Jackson Players Fund – confirmed that his playing days are finally over.
Following the World Cup win with the Springboks in 2019, the man affectionately known as Beast, moved to Washington DC, where he was playing for Old Glory in the American Major League competition.
However, COVID-19 brought his short stint in the United States to an end after just five rounds, in early March.
He described his trip as a “great adventure”.
“After winning the World Cup I was looking for an exciting experience to cap off my career,” he said of the stint in America.
“Having a chance to grow the game globally was really exciting to me.
“It was going well until COVID-19 came along and ruined it all.
“That was probably my last season. [It was] not ideal to finish that way.”
While he has finally packed away his playing boots, he is ready to put on a tracksuit and start helping young players in Durban.
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Mtawarira said he is currently studying for a postgraduate diploma and then will tackle an MBA degree next year.
The Sharks faithful will be happy to know the 34-year-old – with 117 Tests the most capped front row forward in South Africa – will “definitely” return to the Sharks in a mentoring role.
“I always wanted to impart knowledge onto the next generation,” Mtawarira said in a question-and-answer session.
“[I want to] help young players come into their own and become successful professionals.
“I look forward to working with the front row forwards at the Sharks – helping them on their scrummaging and general forward players.”
He also fielded a few left-field questions, such as who he wouldn’t like to arm-wrestle with.
“That is an easy one,” Mtawarira said, adding: “Eben Etzebeth has biceps like tennis balls.
“He will be tough,” he said of his fellow World Cup-winning Bok teammate.
And the strangest venue he has ever played at.
“Probably in Argentina, in a place called Salta.
“It is quite a weird place to play rugby in. It is probably the strangest venue I played rugby at.”
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, he was schooled at Churchill High School and Peterhouse.
He became Springbok No.797 when he made his against Wales at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, on 14 June 2008.
His last Test was the World Cup Final win (32-12) over England at the International Stadium in Yokohama on November 2 last year.
He is the third-most capped Bok of all time – behind Victor Matfield (127) and Bryan Habana (124).
Also worth reading …
IN CONVERSATION WITH VICTOR MATFIELD – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH VICTOR MATFIELD – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH THE CLASS OF ’95 – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH THE CLASS OF ’95 – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN SMIT – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN SMIT – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH BRYAN HABANA – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH BRYAN HABANA – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH SCHALK BURGER
IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN DE VILLIERS