Bloemfontein - Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said the entire Bok squad was extremely proud of Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, who will make his 100th Test appearance for South Africa on Saturday.
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The Boks and England will tackle each other in the second of three Tests at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
“He doesn’t want to make a big thing out of it and wants us all to focus on the match and not be distracted,” Kolisi explained when he referred to the century of caps that Mtawarira will reach on Saturday.
“It is a huge milestone for a player to reach 100 Tests and the team and staff are all very proud of Beast,” added Kolisi, who also celebrates his 27th birthday on Saturday.
Looking towards Saturday’s big clash in the Free State capital, Kolisi said the Boks are bracing for a huge onslaught from England.
The Springboks are leading the series 1-0 after last Saturday’s 42-39 triumph in Johannesburg, and they know they have to improve a lot, but according to Kolisi there will be no excuses come Saturday.
“The coaches have worked extremely hard to prepare us for this Test match while the players also put in huge shifts on the training pitch,” said Kolisi.
“We know England are a very strong side and you can imagine how hard they would have worked this week on their readiness for Saturday.”
Saturday’s match in front of a near capacity crowd starts at 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Warrick Gelant
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Denny Solomona