Passport ruling sidelines Mtawarira

PA Sport - Sat, 05 Jun 22:09:00 2010

Tendai Mtawarira will not represent South Africa for the foreseeable future after the government ruled no player who does not have a South African passport can play for the Springboks.

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The decision, issued in a letter from the Department of Sport and Recreation's deputy minister, Gert Oosthuizen, to the South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Friday, effectively bars the prop from playing international rugby until he can get a passport.

Zimbabwe-born Mtawarira, who has played 22 Tests for the world champions, was controversially withdrawn from a match against France last November due to his eligibility.

Commonly known as Beast, the 24-year-old is legally a resident and employed in South Africa.

He was selected to play for the Springboks having fulfilled the eligibility criteria of the International Rugby Board.

But he does not hold a passport and SARU president, Oregan Hoskins, said: "We have had extensive and robust conversations with government on this issue.

"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 Africa

PA Sport

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