South Africa's Tendai Mtawarira was elated to have won the rugby World Cup ahead of his retirement. Photo: Mark Baker/AP Photo

Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira announced his retirement earlier today. 

News many rugby fans knew would come eventually but is still hard to swallow. 

Beast, as he is affectionately known, along with his victorious Springbok team mates will embark on a country wide Rugby World Cup trophy tour from Thursday and fans will get their last chance to see him with the national team. 

Mtawarira was born in Zimbabwe and came to play in South Africa as a teenager with dreams of playing professional rugby. 

He then made his debut with the Sharks in 2006 and couple of years later he played for the first time in green and gold in 2008. 

During his international career he won a fair amount, the Rugby Championship twice, a British and Irish Lions win and to top of his great career the World Cup title a few days ago. 

In a statement he thanked everyone who helped him achieve what he has in his career. 

"I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me by many top coaches at the Springboks and Sharks, and grateful to my many teammates in green and gold, and black and white, over the years." 

He made special mention of the role his wife and children have played in his success. 

"To my wife Kuziva, and our two beautiful children Talumba and Wangu, for sacrificing so much to allow me to chase my dreams. I really appreciate it, immensely."

Whenever he took to the field, had the ball in hand or made a tackle, Beeeeast  wound ring around the stadium. Something Mtawarira says he will miss. 

"Thank you South Africa for adopting me as a son. And to all my amazing fans who chanted Beeeeast everytime I did something spectacular on the field, thank you, I will certainly miss that." 

With a 117 test appearances, he has become the third most capped Springbok behind Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana. 

IOL Sport