Super Rugby

Tera Mtembu pens emotional farewell letter to Sharks

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Tera Mtembu during a Sharks training session at Kings Park in Durban on 28 July 2020.
Tera Mtembu during a Sharks training session at Kings Park in Durban on 28 July 2020.
Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Loose forward Tera Mtembu has penned an emotional letter to the Sharks as he departs for America to play for Major League Rugby outfit New England Free Jacks.

The 29-year-old spent 10 years at the Sharks and also captained the team.

The No 8 took to social media on Wednesday to share his memories of playing rugby in Durban.

"This came a lot quicker than I thought. I had painted a picture of how I would like my rugby career to be and to some extent looking at this picture now it’s not the one I had imagined.

"I don’t think I ever imagined that I would get to play for Blitzbokke or would get the privilege of captaining the Sharks. In the same breathe, I never prepared enough for the adversity and the hurdles a players goes through.

"I never prepared for being told I am not good enough. I never prepared for being told I will never make it. I never prepared for 7 knee ops in 4 years. I never prepared for being told I will never come back the same player I was after every op.

"I never prepared for gaining the confidence and belief of the coaching staff time and time again, only for there to be changes in coaches which would mean I would go back to the bottom of the pile. I most certainly never prepared to be saying goodbye before I felt I had fulfilled my purpose," he wrote on Instagram.

Mtembu has signed a three-year deal with the New England-based club but says his heart will always be with the Sharks.

"I can't imagine myself going to another union and definitely did not want to. All I have known is the @sharksrugby my whole adult life so far has been the Sharks. I am grateful for my time here and to be able to do what I love and enjoy as a career. I was never one for accolades but what I have always valued in this life is people, kindness and leadership.

"So if I somehow I added some sort of influence or value to the lives of my work colleagues and most importantly my current and past team mates, then my heart is at ease with my career at the Sharks. I am eternally grateful for those who have poured into my cup, whether it was by sharing a kind word, believing in me, or providing opportunities for growth and I can only hope if have paid this forward sufficiently by pouring into the cups of others.

"Thank you @sharksrugby for the opportunity and memories #BLACK AND WHITE NOTHING ELSE MATTERS."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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This came a lot quicker than I thought ????.I had painted a picture of how I would like my rugby career to be and to some extent looking at this picture now it’s not the one I had imagined. I don’t think I ever imagined that I would get to play for Blitzbokke or would get the privilege of captaining the Sharks. In the same breathe, I never prepared enough for the adversity and the hurdles a players goes through. I never prepared for being told I am not good enough. I never prepared for being told I will never make it. I never prepared for 7 knee ops in 4 years. I never prepared for being told I will never come back the same player I was after every op. I never prepared for gaining the confidence and belief of the coaching staff time and time again, only for there to be changes in coaches which would mean I would go back to the bottom of the pile. I most certainly never prepared to be saying goodbye before I felt I had fulfilled my purpose. At the same time, I can’t imagine myself going to another union and definitely did not want to. All I have known is the @sharksrugby my whole adult life so far has been the Sharks. I am grateful for my time here and to be able to do what I love and enjoy as a career. I was never one for accolades but what I have always valued in this life is people, kindness and leadership., So if I somehow I added some sort of influence or value to the lives of my work colleagues and most importantly my current and past team mates, then my heart is at ease with my career at the Sharks. I am eternally grateful for those who have poured into my cup, whether it was by sharing a kind word, believing in me, or providing opportunities for growth and I can only hope if have paid this forward sufficiently by pouring into the cups of others. Thank you @sharksrugby for the opportunity and memories #BLACK AND WHITE NOTHING ELSE MATTERS

A post shared by Tera Mtembu (@teramtembu) on

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