Old Glory DC sign Springboks legend Mtawarira

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Old Glory owner Paul Sheehy says Tendai Mtawarira's decision to head Stateside is a "game-changer" for Major League Rugby.
Old Glory owner Paul Sheehy says Tendai Mtawarira's decision to head Stateside is a "game-changer" for Major League Rugby.

Rugby World Cup winner Tendai Mtawarira has joined Old Glory DC after ending his South Africa career.

The 34-year-old prop, nicknamed 'the Beast', retired from international rugby after the Springboks' triumph in Japan last month.

Mtawarira, whose tally of 117 caps is a record for a South African forward, has spent his entire club career with the Sharks but will play in Major League Rugby (MLR) next year.

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"I really want to thank the whole Old Glory organisation for making this happen," said Mtawarira. 

"I can't wait to make an impact on and off the field and help to contribute to making Old Glory the best team in this league."

United States head coach Gary Gold said: "The news today that Tendai 'the Beast' Mtawariri has signed to play his rugby at Old Glory in Washington is an incredibly strong message that the MLR competition is now a league that top players are starting to take seriously.

"To have a player of Tendai's ability, and in his current form, as we saw in the recent RWC final, is a testament to the work that has been put in over recent years to form a sustainable competitive competition in the USA, that can attract players of the quality of Tendai.

"I know Beastie well and I know what incredible value he will bring to the Old Glory team and the MLR."

Old Glory owner Paul Sheehy says the acquisition of Mtawarira is a major fillip for the league.

"Tendai recently won the Rugby World Cup and has represented South Africa 117 times," he said.

"To have a player of his stature decide to play for Old Glory in the nation's capital is validation of all we have been working on. We are honoured to have him join our team. This is a game-changer for Major League Rugby."

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