Former South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira is joining Washington's Old Glory DC in the fledgling Major League Rugby in the United States, he said on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

CAPE TOWN  Former South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira is joining Washington's Old Glory DC in the fledgling Major League Rugby in the United States, he said on Wednesday.

The World Cup winner, nicknamed the "Beast", will sign for a year after announcing his retirement from internationals after the Springboks were crowned world champions in Japan last month.

“I’m excited and look forward to joining my new teammates and adding value to my new franchise both on and off the field. I believe this opportunity will allow me to mentor the rugby youth in D.C and help in my small way to grow the game in the America,” Mtawarira said on Twitter.

Mtawarira, 34, was born in Zimbabwe but played 117 times for the Springboks, becoming an icon in South African rugby.

Old Glory DC are new to MLR, which starts its third season in February with 12 teams and a growing array of international names like former England full back Ben Foden and France centre Matthieu Bastareaud in New York.

Former New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu plays for San Diego and ex-All Blacks winger Rene Ranger and Australia back Digby Ioane are with Colorado Raptors.

Champions Seattle Seawolves have Argentine back-rower Juan Manuel Leguizamon in their squad. 

Reuters