World Cup-winning South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira has signed for Old Glory DC, according to The Guardian.
The Washington-based team are a brand new club and .will enter Major League Rugby next year.
’m really excited to come play rugby in Washington DC for Old Glory,” the man popularly known as “the Beast” told the Guardian, shortly after signing a one-year deal with his new team while on a visit to New York City.
“This conversation started quite a while back, it’s probably been over 10 months, chatting about the possibility of pursuing a career in America.”
Mtawarira was born in Zimbabwe but played 117 times for the Springboks in a storied career which came to an end after the World Cup.
“I’ve been a loyal player to the Sharks and the Springboks,” Mtawarira said, “and I have had an amazing career. I’ve been blessed to have that longevity and eventually come out of it as a World Cup winner. I was always looking for a great opportunity overseas after that.
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“Coming to America excited me the most. The league is still young and for me to be part of something that is still brand new and to be a mentor to young rugby players, that really excited me. I want to give back a lot more because I was given a hell of a lot from the game. It changed my life, literally.”
The Beast could have joined Premeirship side Gloucester, but the powerhouse said “the US excited me very much, above going to France [or England]. Yes, the money’s big in France and big in Europe but I wanted to be part of something that might contribute to my legacy.
“America really excites me: they say it’s the land of opportunity.”