Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira will make history when he becomes the first black African to earn 100 Springbok Test caps.
Only five South Africans – Percy Montgomery, John Smit, Victor Matfield, Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana – have reached the milestone, but Mtawarira’s century will be particularly special because of his disadvantaged background and our country’s past.
The 32-year-old Zimbabwean-born prop admits he never expected to play one Test for the Boks, let alone 100. He will no doubt inspire countless black kids by achieving the feat, but it should be celebrated by all southern Africans – black and white.
In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week, Mtawarira reflects on his lengthy career, while Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis – who, along with Beast, hold the South African record for the most Tests as a front-row combination – pay tribute to him.
Also in the new issue:
– Warrick Gelant has set his sights on becoming the complete fullback
– Eddie Jones is under pressure going into England’s Test series against the Springboks after a poor Six Nations campaign
– Coaches could always rely on Bryan Habana to produce something special
– Plumtree column: Rassie Erasmus and Eddie Jones will have one eye on the World Cup during the June Test series
– The increase in Pacific Island players has changed the racial makeup of Auckland club rugby
– After completing a surprise move from the Northampton Saints to the Lions, Nic Groom is determined to make the most of the opportunity
– SA Sevens high performance manager Marius Schoeman on his scouting process, developing players within one system and creating healthy competition for Blitzboks places
– SA Rugby’s gamble to focus on the abbreviated form of the women’s game has not paid off
– Lessons learned from Varsity Cup final defeats in 2016 and 2017 enabled Maties to lift the trophy this year
– Junior Boks captain Salmaan Moerat is confident of success at the World Rugby U20 Championship in France
PLUS: What happened to Jacques Botes? + Celeb fan with Zapiro + Inside the mind of Dewald Potgieter + Paarl Gimnasium profile + Grey College vs Grey High schools derby + Saffas in Europe XV based on players’ club form + Keith Andrews‘ Perfect XV