The Sunday Mail
TENDAI “Beast” Mtawarira has already been to the Promised Land.
The World Cup-winning forward has done it all, seen it all and then some.
Having retired from international rugby after lifting the World Cup with the Springboks last year, only to join Major League Rugby outfit Old Glory DC, the former Boks’ prop is ready to embark on what he has termed as the second phase of his career.
It looks like the 34-year-old will be enjoying a more relaxed schedule.
Beast turned down more lucrative offers from top clubs in favour of Old Glory DC.
The former Barbarians and Natal Sharks front rower hopes to build his legacy through grassroots rugby in USA.
“I now have a new challenge. I cannot stop because I still have goals that I want to achieve. I need to do a lot more in my career,” said Mtawarira on the sidelines of his recent visit to Zimbabwe last week.
“The first chapter with the Springboks is kind of closed now. I wanted it to end with the World Cup and I did just that.
“Now I have a new challenge in the States,” he said.
As part of giving back to the world, Mtawarira intends to make an impact around the world, helping young rugby enthusiasts launch their careers. He will also impart to the players his knowledge on international rugby.
Various stakeholders have already pledged to support the star’s new task.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the US, rugby-wise, so they needed some key players to help.
“They approached me and said I could be a perfect role model for the young stars. I had no option but to oblige,” he said
Presented with several opportunities from France, England and the US, Mtawarira settled for the US, particularly Washington, DC.
“When I signed with a team in Washington, DC, it was a shock to everybody. They expected me to sign with either French or English clubs.”
Mtawarira said in making the decision, he had picked an opportunity that would have a meaningful impact on the world, instead of a prestigious one that would only give him money.
“When you are still young, then you get a country as big as USA showing interest in you, it makes the work bigger.
“I want to be an ambassador for the sport, working in grassroots rugby. I have a few people already involved — commentators, presenters and stuff. You are going to be watching some of those games on SuperSport.”
He called for support in this new chapter of his career.
Mtawarira encouraged Zimbabwean rugby players to be disciplined. He also said they should dedicate their all to the sport.
The Beast believes that those tenets propelled him to the dizzy heights he is currently scaling.
Mtawarira is a former Churchill and Peterhouse High Schools’ player who rose to become the first black Springbok to play 100 Tests.
He also holds the record for being the most capped (160) South African in Super Rugby.
“When I come home, I visit my former schools and talk to the youngsters,” he said.
“I have one simple theory, I tell them that I was in their shoes once upon a time, and I had a dream. That is where it all starts, my dream was to play international rugby and I did that,” said the 34-year-old.
“The dream became a belief, then came the hard work and discipline.”
The Beast remembers how a lot of people would laugh at his dream, given his background. However, that propelled him to the top.
“I do not come from a rich background, I earned everything I have.
“Don’t get tired, you have to make a lot of sacrifices to get to the top. Just chase your dreams with everything you have got,” said Mtawarira.