Two Springbok veterans call it quits

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Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira was first to announce he was finished with the Test game while over the weekend loose forward Francois Louw also called it quits.


Prop Mtawarira ended his career having played 117 Tests, the last of which saw him revelling in the Springboks' powerful scrummaging display over England to win the Rugby World Cup.


He is the third most-capped Springbok after Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana and was South Africa's most captain Super Rugby player.


"I've been privileged to play this great game and achieve many career goals over the last 12 years of playing senior rugby.


"I've been blessed to have been part of teams that achieved so much success over the years, and I have many memories to cherish forever, but I can honestly say that winning the Rugby World Cup is the perfect ending and cherry on top," he said.


Louw, a 74-Test veteran, first played for South Africa in 2010 but played most of his rugby offshore for Bath in England's Premiership, having earlier played 54 Super Rugby games for the Stormers.


During his Test career he scored 10 tries and became a key substitute for South Africa in recent years.


Retiring Springbok coach Rassie Eramus told, "Flo [Louw] was a real warrior of the back row.


"He was always ready to go where the fire was hottest and was the kind of tough-minded character that you'd always want beside you. He didn't take a step backwards, ever.


"He has been a tremendous servant of South African rugby and we're losing a lot with his retirement, not just in how he played, but in the calmness, insight and character that he brought to the group," he said.


Louw had rugby in his blood being a grandson of powerful 1956 Springbok to New Zealand Jan Pickard.


"I've had an amazing journey in international rugby," he said.


"I've made friends for life in the game and created incredible memories with great people. To end it as part of the Springbok Trophy tour and see the joy and excitement we have brought to people's lives is an incredible way to bow out," he said.


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