Cape Town - Springbok scrum coach Matt Proudfoot thinks Tendai Mtawarira's impressive performances of late have had a positive effect on the entire squad.
The most capped Springbok prop of all time is set to play his 93rd Test on Saturday when South Africa take on Australia in their Rugby Championship clash in Perth.
Proudfoot admitted that he feels Mtawarira is playing his best rugby since the 2009 British and Irish Lions series when he made a name for himself by manhandling experienced England tighthead prop Phil Vickery.
“He's the guy with 92 Test caps and you have to respect that and it's a pleasure to work with the most capped South African prop‚" Proudfoot told TimesLive.
"He's eager to learn and he's getting back to carrying the ball more and passing the ball more.
"His defence has also been exceptional.
"When a guy gets that‚ they become confident and that's probably what's evident in the squad at the moment.
“Coach Allister Coetzee did say at the start of the year that we wanted improvement and everybody has gone on their shoulder and improved everything.
"Mtawarira's rewarded us and that's created the appetite in the team and that's evident in everything. Beast wants to play for another couple of years and he has to be ambitious to do that.
"That's been the growth in him.
"Just think back to what he did to the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and that's Beast. It's good to see he's got that appetite at scrum-time again and he's passionate about his scrummaging.”