Cape Town - Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira says the experience of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan has been the highlight of his career so far.
The 34-year-old has played 114 Tests for his country and is at his third World Cup, yet he has been blown away by the hospitality of the Japanese public.
"I have been blessed with a long career and I must say this has definitely been the best experience in my entire rugby career," Mtawarira told media on Monday.
"You have the warmth of the people, and they really made us feel welcome and at home.
"It has been really great and, for us, it is just about giving back and showing them respect in the way we treat them back.
"It has been a wonderful experience."
The Boks, who arrived in Japan all the way back on September 1, are preparing for their quarter-final against the tournament hosts in Tokyo on Sunday.
Quarter-finals fixtures (all times SA):
Saturday, October 19:
England v Australia, Oita - 09:15
New Zealand v Ireland, Tokyo - 12:15
Sunday, October 20
Wales v France, Oita - 09:15
Japan v South Africa, Tokyo - 12:15
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard