Springboks

New era, new role for Beast

2016-06-01 11:52
Beast Mtawarira (Gallo)

Cape Town - The big Springbok cleanout has left Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira as the most experienced player in Allister Coetzee's 31-man squad for three Tests against Ireland this month. 

With Bryan Habana unavailable, Schalk Burger injured, Bismarck du Plessis not selected and Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Dreez all retired, Mtawarira's 75 Springbok caps are the most in the current suad. 

JP Pietersen is second with 66 while captain Adriaan Strauss is third-highest with 54 Tests. 

In a new Springbok era, with a new coach and a new captain, Mtawarira has a new role. 

Being named in Coetzee's core leadership group is something that the 30-year-old loosehead is taking very seriously. 

He is no stranger to leadership having led the Sharks in Super Rugby this season when Pat Lambie was out injured, but 'Beast' is aware of the responsibility that comes with leading on the national stage.

"It’s a massive honour to have been named as part of the leadership team. It’s a huge responsibility … I have to make sure that I work very hard and lead not just with my words but with my actions," Mtawarira said.

"I’m not the guy who talks the most. I always want to lead with my actions and inspire the youngsters by what I do. It’s something that I’m definitely going to work very hard at." 

While there is a natural air of excitment that comes with the new, having some old and wise heads at Newlands on June 11 will also be important for Coetzee in his first game in charge. 

Mtawarira will soon have played under three different Springbok coaches - Peter de Villiers, Heyneke Meyer and Coetzee - and he is positive about what he has seen from Coetzee so far this week.

"It’s very exciting. We’re part of a new era. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the camp and everybody is excited to be a part of this new journey," said Mtawarira.

"I’ve found him (Coetzee) very relaxed … he’s a relaxed kind of guy in his approach as well. The way he thinks I think is pretty different from previous coaches.

"He really wants us to get back to what  we love about rugby … the enjoyment factor and really getting on the field and expressing ourselves."

The Boks take on Ireland in three Test matches this month in Cape Town (June 11), Johannesburg (June 18) and Port Elizabeth (June 25). 

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 09 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Auckland 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Brisbane 12:05
South Africa v England, Johannesburg 17:05
Saturday, 16 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Wellington 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Melbourne 12:05
South Africa v England, Bloemfontein 17:05
Saturday, 23 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Dunedin 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Sydney 12:05
South Africa v England, Cape Town 17:05
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Durban 00:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
Saturday, 08 September 2018
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00
Vote

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.