South African Rugby
Mtawarira set for Springboks return
June 25, 2010
Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira takes a breather, France v South Africa, Stade Municipal, Toulouse, France, November 13, 2009
Mtawarira must become a South African citizen to represent the Springboks again © Getty Images

Prop Tendai Mtawarira has been cleared for a return to the Springboks' ranks after being granted South African citizenship.

The 24-year-old Sharks player was not selected for the recent clashes with Wales, France and Italy after the Ministry of Support ordered the South African Rugby Union not to pick Mtawarira as the Zimbabwean-born forward did not have a South African passport.

Mtawarira had already won 15 caps for his country before his citenzship became an issue and was part of the side that defeated the British & Irish Lions 2-1 in last summer's Test series. And 'The Beast', as he is nicknamed, is now set to add to that tally in this year's Tri-Nations after negotiations led by SARU and Springboks coach Peter de Villiers resulted in the player being granted a passport by minister for Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

"This is very gratifying news indeed and thanks to much hard work that has been going on behind the scenes over the past few months," SARU president Oregan Hoskins said. "I'd like to personally thank Minister Dlamini-Zuma for her intervention to assist in this matter.

"It had long been the Beast's desire to become naturalised and he has had to endure some difficult times in recent months. He is now eligible for selection should he fit into the plans of the coach and national selectors."

The Springbok squad for the away-leg of the Tri-Nations will be named on Saturday.


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