TWO of this country’s greatest sporting exports — Tendai “Beast” Mtawaira and David Pocock — sparked a wave of emotions after the latter posted a heartwarming message yesterday paying tribute to the record-setting Springbok prop ahead of yet another milestone in his glittering career.
The universally-acclaimed pair grabbed the attention of the sporting world yesterday ahead of the Beast’s record 157th Super Rugby game today.
When the 33-year-old Mtawarira takes to the field for Sharks against Lions at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg this evening (kick-off 7.10pm local time), he becomes South Africa’s most-capped player in Super Rugby history.
Australia’s Gweru-born flank Pocock — one of the most influencial players in the world — took to social media yesterday to congratulate Mtawarira on his feat.
“Congratulations to the Beast, Tendai Mtawarira, on becoming South Africa’s most capped Super Rugby player this weekend,” wrote the 30-year-old Wallaby great. You’re a great ambassador for rugby and Zimbabwe and South Africa. Makorokoto mkoma!!!” (Congratulations elder brother!!!).
Mtawarira responded with heartfelt gratitude, saying: “Thanks for your kind words munin’ina (young brother) David Pocock.”
The post by Pocock — who is still sidelined by injury so will miss his team’s clash with champions Crusaders tomorrow morning — drew glowing praise for the two world rugby superstars, who both enjoy widespread public admiration for their exemplary sportsmen lifestyles. Both have strong affinity for their country of birth. Pocock is involved in charity work in Zimbabwe while Mtawarira has recently launched a foundation aimed at introducing rugby to the rural areas of his motherland.