TENDAI Mtawarira, ‘the beast’, became the most capped player in the South African Super Rugby League last week after reaching a 158 game mark.
Mtawarira surpassed Adrian Strauss’s record on Friday night at Ellis Park in a league match against the Lions, in which the Sharks won 42-5.
The 33 year- old loose-forward, who holds a record of 107 Springboks caps, beat former Springboks captain Strauss’s 156 appearances which sprung from the Central Cheetahs and Northern Bulls.
Sharks half scrum and skipper, Louis Schreuder, told media reporters that they dedicated their massive victory against the Lions to ‘the beast’ in honour of his reached milestone.
A large number of Mtawarira’s teammates were still playing barefoot rugby when he made his Super Rugby bow against the Waratahs in 2007.
He also featured in the heart-breaking 20-19 Super 14 final loss to the Bulls at King’s Park. That is the closest the Sharks have come to winning a Super Rugby final and they have not had that kind of sniff since.
Mtawarira said he still marvels at how his career has turned out, but is also happy with his on-field longevity.
Except for a heart condition that laid him low in 2012‚ Mtawarira’s career has been relatively injury-free.
“It’s mind-boggling to realise that I’ve played so many games. I never thought about achieving big milestones‚” he said.
“I just always thought to myself that I need to keep on improving and when I got to put on the Sharks jersey‚ it was an opportunity for me to play my heart out.
“I’ve been focused on enjoying every single game and moment to play this wonderful game. The milestones have come and gone but I’m grateful for the Lord for looking after me.” — TimesLive