USA head coach Gary Gold expects the arrival of Beast Mtawarira in the Major League Rugby competition to act as a benchmark signing for future players.
Mtawariria announced on Wednesday that he will be moving to America for the 2020 MLR season, where he will join up with the Old Glory DC Rugby union in Washington.
Gold, who worked with the legendary loosehead prop during his time at the Boks and later the Sharks, believes the signing of Mtawarira will send a ‘strong message’ that the MLR is capable of attracting some of the best players around the world.
‘To have a player of Tendai’s ability, and in his current form as we saw in the recent Rugby World Cup final, is a testament to the work that has been put in over recent years to form a sustainable competitive competition in the USA, that can attract players of the quality of Tendai,’ said Gold.
The 52-year-old also reckons it will mean that the rest of the rugby world will now start to take the local American rugby competition a bit more seriously than in the past.
Mtawarira announced his retirement from international rugby shortly after the Springboks were crowned world champions in Japan. He also indicated that he would be leaving the Sharks after spending the past 13 years in Durban.
His impact on the MLR could be of high significance to American rugby, according to Gold.
‘I know Beastie well and I know what incredible value he will bring to the Old Glory team and the MLR.’
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