The Springbok selectors have been instructed by the South African Rugby Union not to select Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira for the national team, following communication from the department of Sport and Recreation.
Rugby 365 reports that SARU received a letter on Friday from deputy sports minister, Gert Oosthuizen, reaffirming the government’s position that no foreign player can be selected to represent a national team.
The Zimbabwean-born Mtawarira has played 22 Test matches for the Springboks since his debut in 2008. He is legally resident and employed in South Africa and was selected to play for the Springboks having fulfilled the eligibility criteria of the International Rugby Board.
“We have had extensive and robust conversations with government on this issue,” said Oregan Hoskins, president of SARU.
“But we respect the authority of the Ministry and have instructed our selectors in that regard.”
Hoskins added that Mtawarira wished to become a South African citizen as soon as possible and SARU had been assisting him in fulfilling the necessary criteria.
The South African Rugby Union will be making no further comment on the matter.Tweet