By Sports Reporter
SOUTH African Super Rugby side Sharks have paid a special tribute to Zimbabwe-born Springboks legend Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira after engraving his name on their away jersey for next season.
Since making his senior debut for the Sharks in 2007, Mtawarira – the144th player to represent the Sharks – has been a regular and highly popular fixture in the black and white jersey.
The 33-year-old veteran prop has represented the Sharks for over a decade, making over 150 senior appearances in Super Rugby, and has recently become the first ever Springboks prop to earn 100 Test caps.
The franchise unveiled their new kits for the upcoming season, which feature a white away strip bearing the text “Beast 144”, the number representing the fact that he was the 144th player to turn out for the franchise.
“Beast’s contribution to the Sharks cannot only be limited to the field of play, but also the role he’s played off it,” Sharks Chief Operating Officer Eduard Coetzee said.
“He has been a role model and mentor for numerous young props and players, who have come through the system and who were able to learn so much from him, both as a player and human being.
“We are delighted that we can honour him in our 2019 Super Rugby away jersey design.”
Next year Mtawarira is set to become the most capped South African Super Rugby player in history, needing just six games to overtake the legendary Adriaan Strauss’ record of 156 caps – which he earned during his career with the Cheetahs and the Bulls.
Mtawarira, who is recovering from a neck fracture that saw him miss the Springboks’ end-of-the-year tour, was delighted to be honoured by his belovedSharks.
“I am very humbled and consider it a massive honour to be celebrated by the Sharks with a jersey that honours me,” Mtawarira said.
“It’s been a great privilege to represent this team for many years and I look forward to a big2019 season to commemorate this special moment.”