Mtawarira set to announce retirement plans

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE-BORN South African rugby star Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira has revealed that he will make a decision on his Springbok future later this year after the World Cup in Japan.

The 33-year-old veteran prop‚ who has played over 100 Test matches for the Springboks is reportedly considering his future after a glittering career which has also seen him featuring for the South African side Sharks in Super Rugby.

Mtawarira is however facing stiff competition from the younger members of the team like Lizo Gqoboka‚ who had a terrific Super Rugby season with the Bulls.

Speaking ahead of South Africa’s opening Rugby Championship match against Australia at Ellis Park on Saturday Mtawarira said he would announce his decision on his future later this year.

“I will make that decision (to retire) later on in the year‚” said the 33-year-old Mtawarira.

He said competing with younger players who are stepping up is good for everyone on the team as they push him to work even harder as the Springboks bid to win the World Cup.

“There is a lot of competition in the national team and it is good because it pushes me to work even harder‚” he said.

“The planning process has been great from coach Rassie (Erasmus) and the management team.

“There has been a buy-in from the players and in terms of the balance there is experience and good youngsters who are coming through. What is left is for us to go out there and play.”

Mtawarira said his focus now is on winning the World Cup.

“Obviously winning the World Cup will be a highlight of my career and being part of a successful World Cup wining team will mean everything. I am excited.

“For the last four years we have been thinking about 2019 because of the big occasion of the World Cup,” the star prop said..

“For myself‚ it has just been about getting my mind and body right to the Springboks. Physically I feel great‚ my last game was against the Waratahs for the Sharks in Super Rugby a while ago.

“I have had enough time to recover from my injury and I feel very fresh. The last few weeks have been great to be put through our paces and really get fit and stronger for the type of rugby that we want to play.”