Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Former South Africa loose-head prop, Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira has been named in the World Rugby's Team of the Decade
Mtawarira who was born in Zimbabwe, played 117 times for the Springboks in a career spanning more than 10 years. He retired after the World Cup final against England in Yokohama last month.
Mtawarira is the most capped prop in South African history and the third most capped Springbok of all time behind lock Victor Matfield (127) and wing Bryan Habana (124).
In a virtual show, the World Rugby Awards Special Edition celebrated players who have provided outstanding service during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as players and teams who have starred over the last decade.
New Zealand’s two-time Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw was the biggest winner of the night, receiving the men’s player of the decade award by World Rugby, with David Pocock, Australia’s sole representative in the star-studded XV.
McCaw, who led the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015 beat former teammates Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett, as well as France’s Thierry Dusautoir, Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and South African Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Loose forward Pocock grew up in Gweru, a town in Zimababwe and began playing rugby as an eight-year-old at Midlands Christian School and later Midlands Christian College.
Pocock relocated to Australia with his family in his early teens and played for the Wallabies from 2008 to 2019.
Pocock was named alongside seven New Zealand players, including Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock and Ma’a Nonu, in a team that boasts a total of 1,637 Test caps.
France fullback Jessy Tremouliere, who was part of the team that won their fourth Six Nations title in 2014, was named women’s player of the decade.
Portia Woodman, who plays for the Black Fern's, took home the women’s sevens player of the decade award while Fiji’s Olympic champion Jerry Tuwai claimed the men’s prize.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “I would like to congratulate all tonight’s recipients for their outstanding contribution to our game over the last decade, and for some of them, for many years to come.”
Men’s team of the decade
Tendai Mtawarira (RSA)
Bismarck du Plessis (RSA)
Owen Franks (NZL)
Brodie Retallick (NZL)
Sam Whitelock (NZL)
David Pocock (AUS)
Richie McCaw (NZL)
Sergio Parisse (ITA),
Conor Murray (IRE),
Dan Carter (NZL)
Bryan Habana (RSA)
Ma’a Nonu (NZL)
Brian O’Driscoll (IRE)
George North (WAL)
Ben Smith (NZL)