Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira
Tendai Mtawarira is a Zimbabwean-born South African professional rugby player who retailers from professional rugby after the RWC 2019 win. He previously played for the Springboks and the Sharks in Super Rugby. He was born in Zimbabwe and qualified for South Africa on residency grounds, before later acquiring South African citizenship. Mtawarira, a prop, is known by the nickname “The Beast”.
Mtawarira made his debut for South Africa against Wales on 14 June 2008. With 117 caps, he is the most capped prop in South African history and the third most-capped Springbok of all time behind Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana.
With his 117 caps, Mtawarira is the 17th most capped international forward of all time and the 5th most capped prop of all time. He is also a 2019 Rugby World Cup winner.
‘Beast’ attended Churchill School in Harare for five years before being given a full scholarship to Peterhouse Boys’ School, an independent school in Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe. At the age of 15, while at Churchill, he was spotted by Zimbabwean coach Joey Muwadzuri who invited him to join the Under 19 side at the National Schools Festival. He arrived in Natal when he was 18 and started playing senior rugby under coach Dick Muir . Beast used to cycle to and from training as he could not drive.
After a strong 2008 Super 14 season with the Sharks, it was apparent that he had great potential and his speed would be beneficial with the new rules.
He was then selected in the Springbok squad and made his debut against Wales on 14 June 2008. At first, received limited game time. Later he had the opportunity to be a reserve during the test against the Wallabies in Perth. Once he came on, his impact was significant; he went on to be a part of the starting lineup for all the subsequent Tri-nations tests.
A highlight of Mtawarira’s career to date came in the first test of the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2009. Scrumming against Phil Vickery, Mtawarira dominated his more experienced opponent, leading to Vickery being substituted after 45 minutes, and a man-of-the-match award for Mtawarira. The Springboks won the B & I Lions series 2-1 and Beast was revered all over the world for his strong scrumming.
On 16 June 2018, Mtawarira played his 100th test match against England. He was dropped to the bench for South Africa’s loss to Australia on 8 September 2018, and sustained a neck injury against New Zealand on 6 October 2018, meaning he missed the Springboks’ 2018 tour to Europe.
Mtawarira was named in South Africa’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The South African Springboks went on to win the tournament, beating England 32 – 12 in the final at the Yokohama Stadium in Tokyo Japan. Mtawarira’s scrummaging in the final was described as destructive by the UK’s leading rugby writer, and South Africa won many scrum penalties.
As well as his 117 Test matches, Mtawarira has played uncapped games for the Springboks against the Barbarians in 2010 and 2016, and against World XVs in 2014 and 2015. He has also played twice for the Barbarians.
Mtawarira also holds the record for the most Super Rugby caps by a South African with 160 caps.
Beast is married to Kusiva , and they have two children Talumba and Wangu . The family live in Balito , Natal. Fondly known as the gentle giant with a warm deep voice, Beast is well-liked by his peers and fans. He and his wife recently started The Beast Foundation and strive to help the less fortunate in South Africa