Cape Town - The international retirement of Tendai Mtawarira may have shocked many Springbok supporters but they took to Twitter to remember a legend of South African rugby.
The man known to his legions of fans as "Beast" decided to hang up his international boots after the euphoria of South Africa's Rugby World Cup victory over England on Saturday.
Mtawarira played an integral part in that victory with his strong scrummaging proving to be a menance for not one, but two English tighthead props.
He leaves the game having pulled on the Green and Gold on 117 occasions in which he scored two tries.
Here's how Twitter reacted to his retirement.
???? x 117 - Test Caps?? x2 - Test Tries?? x 159 - Vodacom Super Rugby caps?? x1 - Rugby World Cup?? x1 - Castle Lager Rugby Championship?? x1 - Tri Nations?? x1 - British & Irish Lions Tour?? x3 - Currie CupsForever a legend of Springbok Rugby. pic.twitter.com/I9YhAthnqd— Springboks (@Springboks) November 6, 2019
117 Caps later and Beast Mtawarira goes out at the very top. Not sure I have seen him scrum better than he did on Saturday against England. True gentleman and legend of the game. Thanks for the memories big man— Front Row Grunt (@FrontRowGrunt) November 6, 2019
One of the greatest Springboks has called it a day . Thank u @Beast— Barney Girnun (@barneygirnun) November 6, 2019
What a career, what a legend! After 117 tests, Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira calls it a day on his international career.Nothing more can be said other than thank you!#ThankYouBEAST#SSRugby#Springboks#RWC19 pic.twitter.com/1MZSN1eG5n— Wim Pretorius (@Wimster101) November 6, 2019
What a legend. What a gentleman. https://t.co/gt33Ktvmta— Cato Louw (@catolouw) November 6, 2019
?? Tendai Mtawarira: “I’ve been blessed to have been part of teams that achieved so much success over the years, and I have many memories to cherish forever, but I can honestly say that winning the RWC is the perfect ending."?? https://t.co/B8W3u5ZLBo#ThankyouBeast pic.twitter.com/y8q5Nkh9n6— Springboks (@Springboks) November 6, 2019
And just like that, Mtawarira's Bok career is over. In some ways it feels like yesterday he was crumpling Phil Vickery and the Lions scrum and doing pullovers with a 120kg lock. This guy had plenty of reasons to fail and instead found a way to succeed. BEEEEEAAAAASSSSSST!!! ??— Zelím Nel (@Zels77) November 6, 2019
Beast became the third most-capped Springbok, the most capped prop & boasts most appearances for a SA Super Rugby team (159) and won the World Cup (2019), Tri-Nations (2009), Rugby Championship (2019), a series against the British & Irish Lions (2009) & Currie Cup (3x).— Clinton van der Berg (@ClintonV) November 6, 2019
My favourite Beast memory is him struggling to put his tie on at an awards function. We gave up on getting the top button done and then I had to stand on a step, reach around his neck and tie a Windsor knot - there wasn't enough tie! Some soldier— Dan Retief (@Retief_Dan) November 6, 2019
Thank you BEEEEEEAAASSSSSSSTT— Runningflyhalf (@Runningflyhalf) November 6, 2019
A sad day for SA Rugby. Would have loved to see Beast continue in the Green and Gold. But all good things must come to and end.— Dylan Jack (@dylanmattjack) November 6, 2019
Thank you for being an all-round nice guy and great human being.#ThankYouBeast