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Milestone foe Sharks legend Mtawarira

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The Beast has made it clear that he wants to play a huge role for the Boks at the World Cup in Japan later this year.

Tendai Mtawarira of the Cell C Sharks is due to play his 157th Super Rugby match on Friday night.

BEEEEEEAST! There wasn’t a very big crowd at Friday night’s Super Rugby clash between the Sharks and the Lions at Ellis Park, but that familiar chant still rang around the famous ground when Tendai Mtawarira led the Sharks out in recognition of what was a very special night for him.

The Beast became the most capped South African in Super Rugby history, running out for the 157th time.

So often in sport, big personal milestones have a way of working out badly on the day itself for the person honoured. Perhaps the emotion of the occasion gets in the way of concentrating on the job at hand.

But Friday night was not such a case, as the Sharks stormed to a comprehensive 42-5 thrashing of the home side.

And Mtawarira was at the forefront of the Sharks win, scrumming strongly and tucking the ball under his arm and charging at the opposition in that familiar style which South African rugby lovers have come to treasure.

Last year, Mtawarira celebrated his 100th Test cap for the Springboks, so the last two years have been very special for the man who arrived at the Sharks academy from Zimbabwe in 2005, worked his way up through the ranks and forged a brilliant Currie Cup, Super Rugby and international career.

Not that he is done yet.

The Beast has made it clear that he wants to play a huge role for the Boks at the World Cup in Japan later this year, and his name will certainly be one of the first jotted down by Bok coach Rassie Erasmus.

It’s not just the fans who love Mtawarira. Before the match on Friday, Springbok and Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth put this note on Instagram: ‘If there was one day I could have been a Shark, it would be today with you, my brother. No one deserves it more than you, you are an exceptional rugby player, and an exceptional human being and one of my best friends. Congratulations, brother. I love you!’

Today we underscore the words of Eben Etzebeth and we salute Tendai Mtawarira.