Some truly remarkable stories could have a fairytale ending in Yokohama on Saturday. Imagine, for example, if South Africa’s Siya Kolisi were to become the first black captain to hold aloft the Webb Ellis Cup. The last time the Springboks conquered the world in 2007, Kolisi was a wide-eyed 16-year-old watching in a township tavern. It would be a momentous moment, too, if Tendai “the Beast” Mtawarira were to leave Japan with a winners’ medal. Now 34, the loosehead prop is one of the game’s most popular figures, so much so a cry of “Beee-eeast!” echoes around the stadium when he carries the ball. Given his father told him he would never make it as a rugby player when he left his native Zimbabwe for Durban at the age of 18, his story serves as another inspiration to all. When the Boks won their first World Cup in 1995, Mtawarira was living in Harare. At primary school he played soccer – “I didn’t watch rugby then” – but in his teens he began to become aware of rugby and prominent Springbok forwards such as Gary Teichmann and Bobby Skinstad. Something inside him stirred. “All I thought about was being a… Read full this story
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