Tendai Mtawarira believes that winning the World Cup with the Springboks would eclipse everything he has achieved in his glittering career so far.
But with more than 100 Test caps, a Tri-Nations title and a British and Irish Lions series victory to his name, the two-time veteran of World Cups (2011 and 2015) is ready to put his body on the line for his country in the hope of achieving his ultimate goal.
“I’m super excited and I have been thinking about it for the last four years,” said the Boks’ self-styled ‘Beast’ at his team’s hotel in Johannesburg. “It is the big occasion this year and it’s all about giving my mind and body to the Springboks and really showing up for every single game.
“For me winning the World Cup is everything. Being part of a successful World Cup team is everything and right now that’s all I’m thinking about. I need to work harder than ever to put in great performances and really contribute to the success of this team going forward.”
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Mtawarira has been out of action since suffering a knee injury against the Waratahs in a Super Rugby round-robin match in April, but the 33-year-old explained he has recovered from his injury and is raring to run out onto the field on Saturday against Australia in the Rugby Championship.
“I feel great. I’ve had a lot of time to recover from it, so I feel really fresh. These last couple of weeks have been really great to be put through our paces and really feel fitter and stronger. I’m in a great position to go out there and do the job.”
Mtawarira added he has been impressed with the attitude of prop Lizo Gqoboka, one of the uncapped players in the Boks squad.
“He has been a sensation. I speak very highly of him because he is such a nice guy, one of the most humble guys I’ve ever met. He is always willing to learn and he is playing great week in and week out and really deserves his chance.”
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