JOHANNESBURG, July 16 (Reuters) – South African prop Tendai Mtawarira is ready to give his "mind, body and soul" to Springboks and has supported coach Rassie Erasmus to lead the team to the World Cup glory in Japan.
Known lovingly as "The Beast", Mtawarira has recovered from a knee injury sustained in April to play in the Rugby Championship, and he feels rejuvenated prior to the tournament opener against Australia at Ellis Park on Saturday.
"I have now had a lot of time to recover, also from other niggles, so I feel healthy again," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"I've been through my steps for the past few weeks and I'm fine, ready to go out and do my job.
"I am very excited. For the past four years, the World Cup is everything I have thought of. It is a great occasion and I will give my mind, body and soul to the books. You can be sure I will show all games. "
Zimbabwe-born Mtawarira says attention to detail from Erasmus, and his individual plans for each player are a major asset to the page as they seek a third World Cup title in Japan.
"With Rassie, you know exactly what he's talking about, and I've never had a better trainer in giving that direction," he said.
"The management prepared a plan early and everyone bought it.
"With regard to the squad that has been picked, it is well-balanced. There is experience and there are also good young people coming through.
"I want to say that we have everything we need to succeed, all that is left for us now is to go out and play and perform."
The 33-year-old Mtawarira, a 107-test veteran, is an almost safe start to the World Cup, which could also be his last tournament with Boks.
"There is a lot of competition in the national team and that is good because it pushes me to work even harder. I make the decision (at retirement) later this year."
Reporting by Nick Said, Editing Ed Osmond
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