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Habana, Mtawarira and Du Plessis all named in World Rugby’s Team of the Decade

With international rugby taking a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing less matches and certainly less tours and tournaments, the 2020 awards saw fans vote for their favourite tries and players of the decade.

FILE: Springbok winger Bryan Habana runs in to score a try at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The World Rugby Awards took place on Monday albeit in a virtual show.

With international rugby taking a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing less matches and certainly less tours and tournaments, the 2020 awards saw fans vote for their favourite tries and players of the decade.

South Africans could yet again celebrate the Springboks, with three World Cup winners being named in the Team of the Decade.

Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup just over a year ago, was named in the number one jersey. He was joined by former teammate at both the Boks and the Sharks, Bismarck du Plessis, who was voted into the hooker position.

Du Plessis lifted the 2007 World Cup alongside Bryan Habana. Habana, who scored 67 tries during his Springbok career, was also named in the Team of the Decade.

Back-to-back Rugby World Cup-winning captain, Richie McCaw, was not only named on the side of the scrum in the Team of the Decade but was also awarded the Player of the Decade Award.

One of our very own World Cup-winning captains was also recognised on the night. Siya Kolisi, alongside his fellow Springboks, were commended for the “#StrongerTogether for R32-12 campaign, which raised more than R1 million for hunger alleviation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"On behalf of the entire South African rugby fraternity, I would like to congratulate all our Springboks who featured in the World Rugby Awards tonight," said Mr Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby.

"'Beast', Bismarck and Bryan always gave everything they had for the Springbok jersey and were great ambassadors for our wonderful country. Their inclusion in the Team of the Decade is great reward for their consistently high level of performance in the green and gold.

"To Siya and the Boks of 2019, well done on a great effort to help raise funds for those less fortunate who were hit very hard because of the pandemic earlier this year – we are all very proud of your efforts.

"Congratulations to our other nominees too, from the Blitzboks and the Springboks, for always giving their all when representing South Africa on rugby fields around the globe."

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