Springbok legend and World Cup victor 'The Beast' Mtawarira retires

Tanya Simon
November 10, 2019

He watched the victorious Springboks being feted Thursday in rugby hotbed Pretoria, Johannesburg and football stronghold Soweto on TV.

The Springboks were not disappointed as fans from all walks of life and races flocked to the government offices to meet them as they waved flags, danced and sang victory songs for their heroes who beat favourites, England 32-12 in Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday, 2 November 2019, to bring the prestigious cup to Africa.

In a trademark scrumming performance from the 115kg front rower, the Springbok pack forced a succession of penalties from their opponents, many of them conceded by Mtawarira's direct opponent.

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.

Telling ordinary South Africans that the victory and the trophy was for them, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and his team have started a five-day tour where they will carry the Rugby World Cup across the country. At half-time, I asked him if he wanted to go more, and he said he wanted 70 minutes!

Pollard announced this year that he is leaving the Pretoria-based Northern Bulls Super Rugby team after the World Cup to join French Top 14 outfit Montpellier.

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"I am grateful for the opportunities afforded me by many top coaches at the Springboks and the Sharks, and grateful to my numerous teammates in green and gold, and black and white, over the years". I really appreciate it immensely.

"I want to say thank you so much for the support, it's been awesome".

SA Rugby did not comment on hooker Bongi Mbonambi, who was sidelined by an injury during the first half.

"We are very happy and proud to be here with the trophy today". That all falls into place once we work hard together.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was present to congratulate the Springboks.

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